Shortly after 1 PM today, an avid birder from South Carolina came into the Visitor's Center at the Bird Viewing Preserve after walking around the ponds. She works for the National Audubon Society. She said she saw at one point what she was "99 percent sure" was a Little Blue Heron out on the ponds. Since the Preserve closes at 2 PM we had little time but I sent our other staff member, Jim, out with his camera. He located a Heron and got two shots of it, one as it was flying into a reedy area on Pond 6 and one when it landed, but had it's head tucked under a wing grooming. On the shot of the bird in flight about to land, the wings and back of the bird were a beautiful slate blue, with a thick purple/red neck showing with a small plume coming off the back of the head. It certainly is not one of our regular Herons / Egrets, and all of my checking various print and online references have me convinced it is a Little Blue Heron. The Bird Preserve will open at 6 AM tomorrow, and close at 2 PM as usual, last entry at 1:30 PM.
The Preserve is located at 350 E Galleria Drive, Henderson, NV, 89015. To get to the Preserve take the 95/515 freeway to the Galleria Drive exit. Go East on Galleria drive, cross Boulder Highway, then proceed about 1/2 mile. You will see a two story light tan building on the north side of the road, with a number of tall palm trees around it. The entrance driveway is just on the east side of that building, look for the blue sign on a light pole. If you get to the Henderson Animal Shelter at Galleria and Moser you have gone just a little too far, go back about 100 yards to the entrance driveway.
When Jim took the pictures he found the bird on Pond 6, which is one of the largest ponds. If you have a spotting scope available it would be advisable to bring it in case the bird is located some distance away.