The first Little Blue Heron for Ireland was reported at Letterfrack, Go Galway, on 5th October 2008. The bird, a juvenile, was first seen on 24th September when it was considered interesting, but eventually passed off as a Little Egret. Only when checking an American field guide nearly two weeks later was the mistake realised and fortunately, the bird was still present.
Juvenile Little Blue Herons are white, later moulting into the grey-blue adult plumage. Apart from more subtle differences in the structure and bare-part colouration, a key feature is that of small black tips to the primaries.
Assuming the record is accepted, this is the first for Ireland, the first for Britain & Ireland, and only the fourth for the Western Palearctic, following individuals on the Azores in the autumns of 1964, 1997 and 1998.
Little Blue Heron has now been added to BUBO Listing for potential addition to Irish lists and to Britain and Ireland lists, although only as a provisional addition to both lists. If, for whatever reason, the record is rejected at a later date, it will be removed from BUBO Listing.