Please note that this is my own personal blog and therefore the views and opinions expressed, although in no way intended to be controversial, are not necessarily those shared by my employers Abbotsbury Tourism Ltd. and Ilchester Estates . All photos are © Steve Groves unless otherwise credited.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Return Of The 'Ferruchard'

Still rather quiet in the last few days. There has been a little overhead passage mostly involving Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails, Linnets, Siskins, Lesser Redpolls, Reed Buntings, Starlings, still a few Swallows and the first Jackdaws, but nothing impressive yet. In the withies there are a few Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests but that's about it. Highlights have been a Marsh Harrier on Friday (21st), followed by a Merlin on Saturday (22nd) and a Green Sandpiper yesterday (24th). The only other waders present have been the 50 odd Lapwing, a few Snipe and a couple of Dunlin and Redshank.

Green Sandpiper (with preening Eurasian Wigeon).

Most of the usual duck species are present including the first winter 'first winter' Scaup...

First winter Greater Scaup (honest!) with Common Pochard.
But no mergansers or Goldeneye yet. The regular hybrid male Ferruginous Duck x Common Pochard has returned though for it's umpteenth year, well I say that but for the last autumn or two it has been sporting a metal ring (which I was unable to read) but this year there is no sign of a ring! Either it lost it (unlikely but swans can) or my regular bird has actually involved at least two individuals (I have had several female hybrids too over the years so they're not rare).
Male Ferruginous Duck x Common Pochard (note no ring!)

Ferruginous Duck x Common Pochard (the same bird as above I assume).
I wasn't working today but after popping over to see the lingering Snow Bunting at The Bridging Camp I felt inspired to go and find my own down the beach but to no avail. There was an impressive flock of six plus Rock Pipits flitting around the tank teeth though, a regular autumn migrant to The Swannery with one or two over-wintering most years.

Rock Pipit (this one was by the Fleet Pipe Hide a few days ago).
 Going back to the hybrid theme these oddities are regular visitors to my patch...

Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrids (with Common Pochards and Tufted Ducks).

Domestic Goose x Canada Goose hybrids (with Canada Geese and Common Coots).
Whereas the first two's parentage is fairly straight forward the following three (there are actually five in the area) are a bit more tricky. They may look just look pure domestic geese but there is something not quite right. They show a few hints of a Canada parent and this was borne out on a trip to Slimbridge a few years ago (not long after these geese first turned up) as I encountered a mixed pair of Canada Goose and White Domestic Goose with a few young in tow that looked almost identical. Mystery solved!
The Swannery from The Tank Teeth.

No comments:

Post a Comment