Sunday 20 November 2016

Hybrid wigeon and other ducks

I recently post on a hybrid duck and feedback I've received suggested I need look no further than Northern Pintail x American Wigeon for an explanation. This sounds good to me. I revisited the site a couple of days ago and found two American Wigeon x Eurasian Wigeon hybrids in just five minutes scanning the closest ducks.

The first bird is an obvious intermediate-type hybrid but the other is very close to American.

Two shots of the clear hybrid.

The next bird looks like an American Wigeon at first glance, second glance even, but the longest scapulars are pale grey on the inner webs which must rule this out as 100% American. I wonder whether F1 hybrids can show the dramatic difference in appearance of these two birds or must backcrossing be responsible for the following bird.

Warm outer webs and grey inner webs to the tertials would have been a disappointment if I'd been looking for American Wigeon. As it is, this bird is interesting enough.

I was focused on the bird in question but looking at the greater coverts of the bird in the background it must be either an American or another hybrid.

So coming to the 'other ducks' of the title. The day started with Smew, three redheads on the largest body of water behind the seawall, these birds flew out to sea before the sun rose.

Smew are fairly uncommon at this site so these birds were welcome even if they did leave before light was broad enough to bring a little colour to the scene.

Gadwall are very common in the area.

Not so much a duck as a duck lover. I posted shots of this Northern Goshawk sitting by the pond watching the ducks recently and there it was again. This time it it launched sorties from the long grass on the bank rather than the concrete wall at the pond side; perfecting its technique. 

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