Monday, 22 December 2014

Fifty shades of ............Wigeon!

After goinig down and see David Wright's Wigeon at Red Wharf Bay it inspired me to look more closely at Wigeon! His bird was showing well still on Saturday from the Benllech end/Ship car park area. It was just like a Eurasian Wigeon but with the biggest green flash behind the eye I have ever seen. Plus a pale golden wash to the face. I then saw an American Wigeon in Lancashire the following day, plus some captive specimens at Martin Mere, then had a little surprise whilst looking at some Wigeon photos I took at Porthmadog two weeks ago.

Red Warf Bay Wigeon on Saturday

Single American Wigeon at Marshide (Lancs)  on Sunday

Wigeon,, Martin Mere on Sunday. Tiny bit of green behind the eye.

Chiloe Wigeon (the South American Wigeon, MM Saturday).

American Wigeon, MM Captive, Sunday.

Red Wharf Bay Wigeon, Saturday

Marshside American Wigeon.

Am. Wigeon Captive, Sunday MM.

Eurasian Wigeon, MM Sunday, wild.

Same as above, some green and quite a speckled face.

Wigeon, Porthmadog, two weeks ago.

Porthmadog Wigeon.

More Porthmadog Wigeon.

I took this two weeks ago at Llyn Bach Porthmadog and only
 looked at it today as I wanted to check how many
Eurasian Wigeon have a green flash behind the eye,
then I saw the other Hybrid!!

Spot the difference!

Presumably the same duck seen at Llyn Bach, Porthmadog on the
24th Feb 2013 by Rob Sandham that we thought was a
Wigeon x Gadwall Hybrid.
Presumably the same bird. Photo taken by Rob Sandham Feb 2013
Note, the same bill pattern.

RWB Saturday Wigeon

(Eu, Wigeon x Am. Wigeon)  x Eu. Wigeon
Looks like the RWB Bird.

Assorted American x Eurasian Wigeon Hybrids

Hybrid Ducks : essential bedtime reading.

So after initially thinking the Red Wharf Bay individual was just a Eurasian Wigeon at the extreme end of natural variability, now after seeing that photo in Hybrid ducks I'm wondering if it could be a (American x Eurasian) X Eurasian Wigeon back-cross. Either way it's been an interesting weekend looking more closely at Wigeon, and if it wasn't for the fact I went looking for a shot of  a flock of  Eurasian Wigeon I could have quite easily "binned" the photo of the Porthmadog birds without realising the Wigeon  x  Gadwall was in the photo!

1 comment:

  1. Steve, some great research again. Andy told me that book existed but I never believed him! Is it still available? :) Indeed, that bird in the book does look very like the Red Wharf bird. I'm sure we've both seen thousands of Wigeon, and none of them has ever shown that amount of green on the head. The thing with hybrids though is that they can be so variable, by their nature. Ruddy ducks! Good spot on the Gadwall hybrid.