Friday, 5 October 2012

Just a bit closer....please

4 October 2012
Having moved to Shouldham I hadn't visited West Acre for a while so decided on an afternoon drop in on the way to Waitrose. On arrival I was greeted with a duck and then two ducks which showed a white patch on "it's stern" with a contrasting dark back - yikes was I looking at two Ferruginous Ducks ? They had some features but not all. I watched them for a while and as time went by I concluded they must have been juvenile Pochard with some Ferruginous in them. These sorts of hybrids, which I am assuming they are, I find really difficult......

 The white at the "back end" was not extensive and while on the pic below it looks good, when the birds were up ending it only showed on the outer under tail coverts on one bird, but was a little more extensive on this one. Still it's dark body was causing me problems. But if it was a juvenile Ferruginous then the head wasn't dark enough, and enough is I have concluded a hybrid. I think. Any comments gratefully received.
It got a bit easier after that......
And then I heard the Kingfisher........... I eagerly awaited it's arrival on the stick in front of the hide. It whizzed about all over the scrape.
It sat in the bushes, diving down and catching fish.
But always at the back end of the scrape, it just wouldn't come over to where I was and sit on the bloody stick !

And then it did !
At last the West Acre Kingfisher in front of the hide.
 I left very happy that I'd been able to get some pics of the Kingfisher, but frustrated I couldn't pin down the ducks. Sleep wasn't easy that night, dark body, white stern...... but hang on there were two of them and what are the chances of that ?! Dazzling blue flash, pointed bill, .......that's better zzzzzzzzzzzzz


  1. Hi Richard.

    The bill on your bird looks suggestive of Pochard to me, so I think you are right with Pochard x Ferruginous Duck, or an F2 hybrid involving those two. It looks quite close to the 1st-winter bird seen at Cockshoot, Ranworth etc ( taking into account the difference in light conditions between the photos.

    There used to be a ringed drake Fudge Duck at Lynford from what I remember, so that may be where those genes come from.


    1. Thanks so much James, only just caught up with this comment.