Monday, 12 March 2012

Duck Day Afternoon

Eurasian wigeon
Took a walk along the waterfront from Beacon Hill Park down toward Ogden Point on Sunday afternoon but there was very little to be seen other than kite surfers and dog walkers.
The usual seaducks were present in small numbers, plus the occasional horned and red-necked grebe, but not much else.
The highlight was a sub-adult peregrine which circled a couple of times over Dallas Road before heading off.

Checking the ducks in the park, there were at least 7 Eurasian wigeon present among the numerous American wigeon (6 males & 1 female, though probably more unidentified females) including the snoozing drake pictured. Last time I came through the park, the ponds had been drained and there were no wigeon of any kind to be found. I wonder where they all moved to? And how did they know to come back?

Ring-necked duck
Among the many mallards and mallardy mutts, there were also 3 northern shoveler and a handful each of lesser scaup and ring-necked duck (both pictured) swimming around at close quarters.

Lesser scaup
While the two latter species are common here, they are still of great interest to any Brit birder as both occur as rare vagrants in the UK (the scaup considerably more so than the RN duck) and it's brilliant to be able to get such good looks at these handsome birds. The opportunity to grill the scaup is especially useful as many of the subtle identification features can be really scrutinised at close range.


  1. Love the photos! Thank you for sharing, and greetings from Montreal.

  2. The first picture of the male Eurasian Wigeon is awesome!

  3. Thanks for the comments. Beacon Hill Park wildfowl certainly knows how to make photography easy, even for an oaf like me!

    ps - for those who may have noticed the brief captioning error on the wigeon pic, I have updated it now. A formatting issue caused me to re-upoad the pic and I absent mindedly named it incorrectly - d'oh!