Isn’t it? Plus we’re closer to the age assessment
David Carr kindly got in touch with some really lovely pictures of the Chinese Pond Heron in Kent taken 5.3.14. Can anybody really doubt that it’s a Chinese Pond Heron? The colours are self-evident. Perhaps the ‘probable’ will go 🙂 As ever take a look at the pictures of the bird, the emerging plumage in the head pattern and underparts and if there is an alternative identification let us know. As to aging this is harder both for the difficulty of getting super accurate photos and gaps in our knowledge. However the shape of the primaries tips and a degree of dark in the wings point to a second calender year (1st winter) or possibly 3rd calender year (2nd winter)- I think ( and with in some excellent discuss with others). One might argue that the slower moult to adult breeding plumage would be consistent with a younger bird rather than a more mature adult. Dunno.
A spirit of common learning and discovery is going on – certainly I’m enjoying it.
There’s another post in my head on the aging with photos which we’ll do in due course. Once again thanks to David Carr. I hope that folk are enjoying the journey of discovery even when it seems a little torturous.
Chinese Pond Heron. Hythe, Kent, 5th March 2014. All photos David Carr.