Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Red Crested Pochard (Netta rufina)

A male Red Crested Pochard has been reported on Scarborough's Mere on and off for a few weeks.

When Pat & myself visited last Saturday we got no joy. On Monday when I went to look at the Black Restart on the Castle Headland I was told the Red Crested Pochard fed with the ducks and geese and was pretty tame of dubious origin.

I went during my lunch hour on Tuesday and sure enough there it was feeding with the ducks on my offerings of bread. The sun was in the wrong direction and low making the lighting difficult but it is a lovely little bird, smaller than the mallards.

I am sure the exposures are not quite right but on the day and in 20 minutes it was the best I could achieve.

One of my books entry for these birds starts, 'irrespective of origins, Red Crested Pochards are exciting birds to find anywhere in Europe'. It also says mostly silent but this bird was making a delightful nasal whistling sound.

It is a diving duck that often feeds in the shallows, a good diver it often up ends like a Pintail or mallard to feed.

My book also says an isolated, extralimital bird (whatever that means), that is tolerant of people is likely to be an escapee.

The preferred habitat is fresh water with extensive cover, wintering on lakes and gravel pits.

They feed mostly on plant material and lay 8 to 10 pale green eggs.

The males bill will turn bright red in summer plumage.


Chris said...

Wow wonderful Mike! These portraits are simply fantastic... I would love to get it like this...

John said...

Great shots Mike! A bird I have yet to see this year, but hopefully will.

Roy said...

Wonderful images Mike with such clarity and a fitting new header.

Mike Randall Bird Photography said...

Thanks for your kind comments Chris, John and Roy.

biker-bri said...

Fantastic shots mike, as you know I am a novice birder so shots like yours are an inspiration.
I have recently bought an old Russian Tair 300mm f4.5 telephoto as used on the old photo sniper system and am amazed at the results. regards Brian.

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