Tuesday, 12 April 2011


Malcolm and I had a walk around the nature reserve of Attenborough near Nottingham this morning and among the nesting Herons, squabbling Coots and honking Geese, two species stood out.  Firstly, the Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus).
More closely related to the Shelducks than to 'real' geese, this is an exotic-looking introduction to the British fauna.  It has been part of our countryside since it was introduced into parks and stately gardens in the 18th century, but only officially as a British breeding bird since 1971.  This one was not at all put out by having a camera pointed at it, indeed it seemed rather contemptuous of me as it waded in the shallows.
The second of the birds which caught our eye, was a pair of Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina).  I have mentioned these before having seen them occasionally on the lakes of Straw's Bridge, but we have rarely been lucky enough to get as good a view as this.  This was the female, busy diving for food, so had to be 'snapped' as she popped up again.
The name 'Red-crested' is more obvious when looking at the male.  This one was resplendent in his breeding plumage and with a bright, wax-red bill shining in the sunlight.  What a glorious bird.
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