Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 25/02/2011

Duck!!!


… nope, Wigeon. Okay, so strictly speaking it is a duck, but people tend to use that term for Mallards, the more prolific of the genus, Anas. This is one of those birds that for a long time I could never get the name right. It must have terribly confusing for the birds when one minute I decided they were called Pochard, then Teal. Mostly through photography I’ve now set the record straight and the birds are happy to regain their true identity.

A true winter visitor, numbers swell from around 400 native breeding pairs up to an estimated 400,000, flying in from the much colder northern climates such as Iceland, Russia and Scandinavian region.

I’ve photographed these birds before, either close up as captive birds or from a distance when in the wild. This particular bird was both a wild bird (it was livid) and close enough to fill most of the frame. Taken at Slimbridge from one of their wild side hides, the various wetland inhabitants seemed relaxed about human presence in the hides, so much so that a number of the Pochard (and these were Pochard, not mistaken-Wigeon) were asleep about 10 feet from where I was seated (too close for me to photograph).

I know the photo doesn’t show the whole of the bird (again it was too close with the 600mm and 1.4x converter) but I’m going to try and recreate the traditional Flying Ducks wall motif using portraits of the various dabblers. You never know, Jack Duckworth (there’s something in the name) might replace the ageing avian wall moldings with something more contemporary such as photographic fresco’s featuring my feathered friends… that’s if The Street and that character even exists any more!

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Responses

  1. I could never get a picture like that–my area is flowers.

  2. Nice wigeon shot! I think it’s a Eurasian Wigeon. Don’t know what part of the world you’re in, but we don’t see them too often here in North America, we have the American Wigeon.

    • Well spotted, yes I am in the UK. Check out my pictures of Robins on Flickr – they’re very different to the US bird of the same name!

      • Wow … your photos are awesome!

        And yes, the Robin is very different. I’m Swedish, and was a little surprised when I first got here, to see their Robins. Didn’t know much about all the bird differences 😐


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