Sunday, 23 February 2014

Chinese Pond Heron - Hythe, Kent

Chinese Pond Heron - Hythe
I got to Saltwood, Hythe for dawn in the hope of catching up with the wintering/escape Chinese Pond Heron which had been frequenting a housing estate in a suburb of Hythe in Kent. I was eventually joined by a crowd of perhaps 35 other birders. We all waited patiently for the Ardeola to appear at its favorite feeding spot. For the past three mornings it had appeared here at no later than 7.15am, so by 9.30am I was bored of waiting and decided to head for home with my first dip for 2014 under my belt!

I had not been home an hour when the bird came back up, I had a quick look at the time and decided I could get back with about an hour to spare before it got dark. Soon enough I was pulling up to a single observer who had the Heron to himself just off Redbrooks Way. I had fantastic scope views at about 50yds distance for about 30mins.

On my visit to China in April 2013 all of the Chinese Pond Herons which I managed to see were in full breeding plumage as can be seen from the photo's below. However the ID can be confirmed by recent photo's of the Kent bird which Martin Garner has collated and remarked on in this brilliant article.

The white mark just below the lores seems to be an effective way of confirming that the Kent bird is indeed a Chinese Pond Heron rather than any of the other Ardeola herons.
Chinese Pond Heron - Nanning, China
Chinese Pond Heron - Nanning, China
Chinese Pond Heron - Nanning, China

Chinese Pond Heron - Nanning, China

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