25
Oct
12

Caped Crusade

A quiet autumn had us taking an interest in a Ruddy Shelduck reported at Repps in north west Norfolk the other day. Well … we were in the area and there was little else to look at and anyway several had been seen of late throughout the country and there was just the chance this was a genuine vagrant and not an escape from captivity. Maybe.

Having found the stubble field where said bird was said to reside we quickly located the flock of accompanying Egyptian Geese and scoured the flock for the Ruddy Shelduck. It eventually put it head above the parapet of stubble and showed itself in all its glory. However this was a Ruddy Shelduck with a problem. A Ruddy Sheluck geographically and genetically challenged. It was in fact a female Cape Shelduck (or at best a hybrid) from South Africa or perhaps more appropriately a wildfowl collection as this is a non migratory species.

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