Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Hooded Merganser - plastic?

It's not every day you find a 'rare' duck on your local body of water - and a female Hooded Merganser no less! Shame this particular rare duck was just an escape, which I've learnt has been knocking around Connaught Water, Epping Forest and one or two other sites in the area for at least a year.


Still - there's no shame in enjoying the qualities of the bird, especially as this individual was acting like a wild bird and not the least bit interested in the bread my son was feeding to the other ducks and geese...mmm - I'd better just run the 'Wildfowl Origin' test to be on the safe side!

Wildfowl Origin test
1. Bread test...Pass
2. Time of year...Pass
3. Rings - None...Pass
4. Birds general condition...Fail (the bird is a corker and doesn't look like it's just flown the Atlantic on the back of hurricane Sandy!)
5. Any reports of an escaped bird from a local collection...maybe ;-)

3.5 out of 5 not bad!!

With only five previously accepted records of this American Sawbill and a sixth record this year in Kent at Whetsted currently under review by the British Birds Rarities Committee, the chances of this bird actually being wild is virtually none...oh well! But just to add a little spice into the equation 'Rare Bird Alert' have been reporting another bird at Pagham Harbour in West Sussex today - could this be the start of an unprecedented influx??

...just an after thought, does an escaped bird ever stop being 'plastic'?

This bird has obviously survived a least one British winter without any outside assistance and was regularly diving for food and fending for itself when I was watching it...this bird is basically wild then! But to answer my own question, unfortunately its 'origins', which matter most, let it down!

1 comment:

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