Monday, July 22, 2013

2nd July - odd Pond Heron

I photographed this Pond Heron at Suan Rot Fai early in the morning on 2nd July and didn't really pay much attention to it at the time (though noted that its colours were somewhat muted).  I briefly contemplated Indian Pond Heron but the lack of any maroon tones on the bird's back made me think it couldn't be. Then a couple of days ago I took another look at the images and compared them with those I have of Javan Pond Heron (the summer-time default species here in Bangkok), and it just didn't look right.  I sought a second opinion on the photos and it was suggested that it could conceivably be a Javan x Indian hybrid - the close relationship between the Asian species of Ardeola suggesting that they form a superspecies, and making hybridisation possible, especially given the expanding ranges of Indian and Javan Pond Heron.

Whether it is indeed a hybrid, or simply a muted Javan I am unsure, but other opinions welcome...

Pond Heron spp (possible hybrid?), SRF, 2nd July 2013

Indian Pond Heron, SRF, April 2012

Javan Pond Heron,  SRF, July 2012

Javan Pond Heron, SRF, July 2012

Pond Heron spp (possible hybrid?), SRF, 2nd July 2013

Pond Heron spp (possible hybrid?), SRF, 2nd July 2013