Sunday, 25 March 2012

Crest

Another beautiful day today, but shopping waits for no man, so there was no walk in the park this morning.  Instead, a couple more pics from Attenborough Nature Reserve.
Among the Mallards, Canada Geese, Mute Swans, Coots and Tufted Ducks, there were three pairs of exotic-looking Red-crested Pochards (Netta rufina).
As usual, the male birds are more strikingly coloured than the females with their lipstick-red bills, rusty-red head and pale buff back.  These diving ducks are quite scarce in the UK, at least, truly wild birds are.  Most of those we see are escapees from ornamental collections and their descendants.
Only about 320 individual, wild birds overwinter in the UK and even fewer stay to breed (about 29 pairs according to the RSPB), so the sight of three pairs at one place is a rare sight indeed.  Even if these were not truly wild birds, it's always nice to see such a gorgeous duck.  This male bird was looking particularly pleased with himself, having won the attentions of two females.
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