While searching for the female Scaup reported from Sixfields Lake at Stortons GP yesterday, I came across this interesting-looking duck. It was obvious among the Pochards on the lake by virtue of its overall darkness compared to ‘standard’ drake Pochard, to which it bore a passing resemblance.This individual exhibits characters associated with both Pochard and Ferruginous Duck. Approximately the same size and shape as Pochard, perhaps a fraction smaller. The head, neck and breast colours are close to, and are clearly ‘borrowed’ from, Ferruginous Duck, as is the head shape and, to some extent, the bill. The latter has a dirty wash across its basal third. The golden/orange eye colour is neither Pochard (= red) nor Ferruginous Duck (= creamy-white) and the white secondary bar and dirty white undertail coverts are also lent by Ferruginous Duck although they are not as extensive or as distinctive as in that species. The body and wings (apart from the secondaries) appear to be Pochard derivatives.
Hybrids of similar appearance have been recorded before, e.g. at Alexandra Park, London in 2010 here and at Slimbridge on 21st March 2013 here with the latter individual appearing almost, if not completely, identical to the Stortons bird.
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