Thursday, 21 February 2013

Funny looking Scaup?

I saw this male Scaup like bird on Llyn Cefni today with a flock of Tufties. It caught my attention as it's head seemed more angular than I would expect for a Greater Scaup. Also it didn't appear particularly big compared to the Tufties. In the sunlight the head had more of a bluish not greenish sheen. The black on the nail of the bill seems too excessive for Lesser Scaup, and the head is not as angular as one would expect.(I never saw it wing flap, so couldn't assess the white wing stripe).I did think the vermiculations on the back were quite noticeable at lunchtime but the photos I took this evening don't really confirm that. I have included a photo of Lesser and Greater Scaup taken at Slimbridge a few winters back showing the difference in head shape. The Llangefni bird appears to be somewhere between the two.I have seen a Pochard/Tufty hybrid Lesser Scaup look-alike a few years back on Maelog, but that had a Coppery head sheen.Pochard Tufty hybrid crossed my mind but in the end I thought it is probably just a Greater Scaup with a slightly unusual head shape but a Greater/Lesser Scaup hybrid could be another possibility? What do other people think?

7 comments:

  1. Thanks Alex but surely if that was the case there would be more of a hint of a tuft on it's head?

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  2. Many do show a small crest but there are hybrids that don't show this. Scaup x Tufted Duck hybrids do vary quite a bit with the crest being a variable feature. Bill length is also another one. In my opinion think this is slightly more Scaup-like than Tufted Duck. May've had a hybrid parent to help this along maybe - although that would be more unusual again I would think

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  3. Mark, try here for comparison. http://www.manchesterbirding.com/midscaupdoc.htm
    Cheers Mark Payne

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  5. Mark, a runt Greater Scaup would make sence. Thanks for that thread on Manchester Birding, it was well worth a look.

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  6. With a bill pattern like that (plus the head shape) it's surely half Ring Necked? RND x TD perhaps?
    Cheers,
    Mike.

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