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Thread: Falcated Ducks in Kent

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Falcated Ducks in Kent

    Here's a couple more pics of the Southfleet (Kent) Falcated Duck from today (20th January 2008).

    Let's be honest guys when others report this bird being tame, what they are not saying is if you take a bag of grain it will chase you across the field! But nice bird anyway.

    Now how come, living in Kent, I've now had the opportunity to see this species three times (with each sighting within a few miles of each other - over admittedly two decades). The first bird, way back in 1987, I always thought had not unreasonably bad credentials co-inciding with arrivals elsewhere in Europe but I don't think it ever got accepted. Last years bird was also elusive disappearing for days along the Thames foreshore, but still had a habit of visiting a small pond with a group of Mallard. This bird, or is it last years bird returning, has so far taken a fancy only to the local village pond!

    So either we're dealing with:

    a) a hitherto undiscovered wintering area for Falcated Duck in south-east England!
    b) a Kent breeder who keeps losing his birds
    c) or genuine vagrants ending up in this corner of Kent simply by chance.....

    Not that you shouldn't see this bird, but don't bother packing the bins, just remember a bag of grain.

    But am I being unfair on this superb looking bird?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bobolink44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    I saw Barry Walker's photos on Stop Press, what a stunning bird! I guess one would prefer to see a vagrant one of these 1/2 mile away feeding with a large flock of flighty wildfowl (Wigeon etc) - this looks like a duckpond bird.

    However, I do wonder if a bird's behaviour is influenced by its surroundings and the other birds it has hooked up with. eg Tufted Ducks and Pochards can be pretty wary in the right circumstances (gravel pits, reservoirs etc and will take flight easily) but there are some city parks where they will take bread out of your hand in winter time. I've read trip reports that talk about how tame the wild wildfowl is in Asia and there are some asian species like Steppe Grey Shrike that are very fearless of humans so who knows..although I doubt it would get through a rarity commitee.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Red-eyed Video's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    d) an escaped Continental bird following it's deep rooted migratory instinct after being frozen out of its park lake.

    Not a hope in hell of it ever getting accepted, the Northants record from 1987-9 hasn't been accepted as a wild bird although it arrived with Wigeon for two winters running.

    This reminds me of a drake Red-crested Pochard which graced the local park lake & when that froze over, relocated to a nearby gravel pit complex where it became instantly tick-able. Enjoy it for its beauty and photogenic qualities but not as another tick, sorry.
    Dave J

  4. #4
    Member Stephen R's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    elmswell, suffolk


    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    Let's be honest guys when others report this bird being tame, what they are not saying is if you take a bag of grain it will chase you across the field! But nice bird anyway.
    That reminds me of the time when i was walking around Connaught Water in the epping forest. I saw a drake red crested pochard far out on the lake and as i raised my bins, i saw it fly towards me, and it kept going until it got to the same side of the lake as i was, looked at me and started quaking, flapped it's wings and started quaking as if it was saying feed me! It even followed me down the path!

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