Thursday 27 February 2014

Chinese Pond Heron in Kent

I'll keep this one brief, and to the point. On Sunday morning, I was once again near Hythe, Kent waiting in the darkness and overlooking the small urban valley at Turnpike Hill. After a bit of walking about and searching, I called it a day just after 10am as birders hadn't really seen the target, a Chinese Pond Heron, after then on any day.
Chinese Pond Heron at Saltwood, Hythe, Kent 23rd February 2014
So just a couple of hours after getting back to London, this swine of a bird - probably the least predictable indvidual I've had the misfortune to try and twitch - was refound again in gardens on the other side of the village, Saltwood, where I'd been earlier. Previously it hadn't exactly hung around long enough to be twitched any further away from Dungeness, so getting Karen all assembled and ready to head down was a bit of a bold call. Thankfully, despite a couple of negative reports, we arrived there late afternoon with the bird chilling out on a log in the field adjacent to the end of Redbrooks Way. It was present for 20 minutes or so, at a decent distance, before flying back east over the houses when we lost it from view. Obviously very heavily streaked, with a deep orange bill base and quite dark mauve upperparts with some russet coming through on the nape and ear-coverts. Anyway, here's one a bit more advanced in plumage from my travels: -
Chinese Pond Heron at Mai Po, Hong Kong, August 2011

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