Saturday, December 11, 2004

It's a Scaup... or is it?

At first glance, this appeared to be a female Scaup on Rothschild's Mere at Woodwalton Fen NNR this morning, but a closer look reveals it has quite a lot of black on its bill - suggesting Tufted Duck. At some angles, the bird's mantle also looks a bit darker than it should do.

Oh dear...

A Tufty x Scaup hybrid? Please leave your comments.

photos taken with Nikon Coolpix 995 + Leica Apo Televid 62 with 16x eyepiece


  1. John Oates says: "That looks like a Scaup to me. The black on the bill looks OK - the nail when viewed head on is quite broad, so it does look as though there is a lot of black there. The plumage, size and shape seem Scaup-like. I bet you could find birds like this quite easily in a flock up north somewhere."

  2. Mark Hawkes says: "As John has pointed out, the black on the bill, although rather extensive, is OK for Scaup, because (if I recall correctly) juveniles tend to show more black than adults. Also the dark back, and notable ear-spot would also suggest juvenile. However, Aythya hybirds (and pure female Scaups) are always a lot easier to deal with in the field (as opposed to photos)."

  3. oh man, save the ducks!

    Justin says "If we don't have the ducks, who is going to feed them?"