As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Grey-headed swamphen spotted in Bermuda

A grey-headed swamphen has been recorded in Bermuda for the first time, according to the Audubon Society.

The bird was spotted at Somerset Long Bay last week by Audubon member Tim White and several local residents.

“The bird has been confirmed as the first grey-headed swamphen to be recorded in Bermuda,” Audubon president Andrew Dobson said.

“This purple coloured chicken-sized bird has huge red feet to enable it to negotiate reed beds.

“It is highly likely that this bird has come from the population of grey-headed swamphens in Florida which became established there in the late 1990s.

“It may well have arrived as a result of Hurricane Matthew. The bird appears perfectly healthy and feeding well, oblivious to kite surfers, dog walkers and the local paparazzi.”

The species is native to the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent to southern China and northern Thailand.

Its sighting in Bermuda comes seven years after an African swamphen was seen in Bermuda to the astonishment of the ornithological world.

The bird — the first of its kind to be recorded on this side of the Atlantic — remained in the Pembroke Marsh area for two weeks.


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