Sunday, 17 November 2013

Hybrid Duck at Linacre

I set off to walk around Linacre this morning, but only got as far as the middle reservoir, when I spotted an odd looking duck swimming with a small group of Tufted Duck. My initial thought was Scaup (!!!), but then I remembered a similar looking bird that was seen in April 2010 and was identified as a hybrid between a Tufted Duck and a Pochard.

I hadn't taken my 'scope with me, so I popped home to get it, hoping that I'd get some shots. Unfortunately, the weather was very grey and overcast and the bird kept a long way away, so no photos were possible. I did, however, manage to get a bit of video footage, which does seem to show that the bird in question was a hybrid. (link here)

If you stop the video at about 25 seconds you can see a large black nail on the end of the bill. Scaup have a much smaller nail. Also, the plumage isn't right for a Scaup. The Linacre bird's feathers on the back don't show the fine vermiculation present on a male Scaup. It also has a slight tuft on the head too, which Scaup doesn't have. The Collins Bird Guide has a few pages on hybrid waterfowl, and shows a very similar bird to the one I saw today on p.35.

No problem, still an interesting sighting!

Not much else was about this morning, but I did spot 2 Wigeon and about 25 Mandarin Ducks.

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