Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Ferruginous Duck

Fudge (c) Badger
Bittern flypast (c) TS

Marsh Harrier (c) Roger Wyatt

The drake Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca) found yesterday morning by Joe Harris, while doing a WEBS count is the first recorded on Otmoor. It is a beautiful richly coloured bird but difficult to see well, as the water level on the northern part of the reed bed is very high allowing the bird to swim off into deep cover  if it feels threatened. It is the first pure one that I have seen in Oxfordshire as one at Burford some years ago was of dubious parentage. Interestingly our bird was seen to be displaying to a female Pochard this morning, so perhaps more hybrids will be on their way.
While looking for it yesterday the first Marsh Harrier of the year was seen, as well as the Ringtailed Harrier, Peregrine and a Bittern.

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