I missed a Purple Heron today. One spent the day sat in the South East Corner of the West Warwick Reservoir. I passed just a few yards from it, but there was a train carriage, a fence, and a large reservoir bank between me and it.
It's not the first time I've missed a Purple Heron. A few years ago (August 16 2006 to be precise) I was driving towards Portland Bill when I was held up by a car reversing out of Culverwell. Fortunately it pulled over to the side shortly afterwards and I carried on to the bill. It was only when I bumped into the driver later that I learnt they pulled over to look at a Purple Heron standing in a field - the first and so far only Portland record.