When is a bird Rare?

Some birds like the Californian Condor are truly rare. There are only a handful of them left. When the last one dies they will be extinct. No more Californian Condors unless Richard Attenborough can be recalled to ‘do a’ Jurassic Park and manifest a DNA clone.

However there is another connotation of rare status. That is, if a species is encountered infrequently out of its range … it could also be said to be rare; although within the confines of its home range the species could be quite common.

Below is a photograph I took last week of a Coot. As you know Coots are not rare and the photograph is not particularly special or indeed well taken. However, it is a photograph of a rare bird. Not because of what it is … but because of where it is.

This is only the second Coot I have seen on the local reservoir in 7 years. Mallards, Tufted Ducks, Gadwall, Teal and Wigeon come and go … but Coot … hereabouts are like Essex virgins. You see, between Hickling in the south east and Felbrigg in the west there is very little standing water. If you were a Coot why would you wish to visit an area with no standing water?

Wherever it came from it’s damn well easily spooked. You only have to show it the top of your hat and it bolts for the reedbed.


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Apr 2016


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