Sunday, January 04, 2009

Scaup, Ferry Meadows

Arch birdfinder and patch fanatic Matt Webb found an Aythya yesterday at Gunwade lake, Ferry Meadows. He requested a second opinion as he thought it may be a Scaup-like hybrid - having concerns about the extent of black at the nail of the bill (very restricted on adult birds).
In my opinion the bird was pure Scaup - a first-witer drake with a few vermiculated pale feathers coming through on the back and pale feathers on teh flank. The slight smudging of the black on the bill tip is fine, I reckon, for a bird of this age. Indeed, put Scaup in the search box at the top left of this blog and you will see I have photographed several young Scuap at Prior's Fen etc with more black in the bill tip.
In these shots it is in the company of similar-sized Pochards (and the odd Common Gull).

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