An “extremely rare” purple heron has been spotted in a Powys nature reserve.

The Dyfi Osprey project confirmed a sighting of the bird at Cors Dyfi nature reserve near Machynlleth.

The bird is very rarely seen in northern Europe and is usually found in warmer climates such as Portugal and eastwards across southern Europe, parts of North Africa as far as Lake Balkhash in Kazakhstan.


In Africa, the bird breeds in Senegal, down the east coast of Africa and in Madagascar.

The Dyfi Osprey Project’s Emyr Evans said the birds are very rare and was the first time he had

“The purple heron at Cors Dyfi was spotted 16th April at 10:13am, it flew off in a southerly direction,” said Emyr.

“They are extremely rare in Wales - I've never seen one here before.

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“Between August and October, purple herons of the western population migrate southwards to tropical Africa, returning northwards in March.

“They often overshoot their normal range on their return, and are vagrants to northern Europe including Britain. Today's bird is probably one of these vagrants.

“It will probably find its way back to southern Europe to breed hopefully.”