Thursday, 12 August 2010

Terns and aythyas

Probably just a hybrid (click for full sized image)

After checking the patch again this morning (which provided a nice surprise in the form of 3 Golden Plovers, a patch tick for me and the 3rd record for the site) I made my way to Staines Reservoirs to get Black Tern for my London list which proved successfull. I couldn't stay long to check it out more properly, i.e. waiting to see the bill etc, but I found this aythya on the north basin. I'm not sure whether or not anyone else has seen or identified it before but at the time I presumed it to be a drake Tufted Duck x Pochard. Looking at photos this evening, I'm fairly confident I was right but the vermiculation on the back and flanks has made me double check the I.D., it seems a little strong for this hybrid which from illustrations and photographs I've seen. On the other hand it also seems a little weak for Lesser Scaup. Let me know what you think; also is there too much of a tuft for Lesser Scaup?

You can view examples of the hybrid I'm talking about HERE