Adult Western Swamphen, Minsmere, Suffolk, 1 August 2016
In my (and many others') opinion, this bird meets all the criteria you'd hope for in a wild bird. An unusual northward dispersal has been occurring in France this year and it's easy to fit this bird in to the pattern observed there. You can read much more about this influx in an article by Hugo Touzé and myself on the BirdGuides website:
- Touzé H & Jones J. 2016. Western Swamphen in Suffolk — a new British bird? [online] BirdGuides.com. Available at: birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=5831
The bird's last showing at Minsmere came on Friday, resulting in a six-day stay. There has been no sign since. I'd argue that the relatively short stay is another factor in favour of this bird being wild - though the most northerly swamphen in France (in Morbihan) is still present at the time of writing, having been found back on 20 July. Others, further south in France, lingered for up to a week or so.
The jury's of course still out and it may be that some damning evidence comes to light that renders it unacceptable as a wild bird - though I doubt that'll be the case, and I suspect (hope) that it rightfully finds its way on to Category A.