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Old Thursday 11th January 2018, 17:54   #1
Roozbeh Gazdar
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Greater scaup or tufted duck - from India

Hi,

Can this be conclusively ID'd as either greater scaup of tufted duck?

From Harike wetland, Punjab, India - Dec 2017.

Apart from the rounder head and bulkier body, the almost whitish back , i feel, points to scaup (immature male)

(Tufted, IMO would have a darker back that would show a prominent contrast with the paler flanks.)
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Old Thursday 11th January 2018, 18:03   #2
SteveClifton
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Tufted Duck in eclipse. Not bulky enough for Scaup and too much black on the bill-tip. The paler 'back' is actually the flank you can see as it rolls over.
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Old Thursday 11th January 2018, 18:25   #3
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Agree.
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 04:29   #4
Roozbeh Gazdar
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Thanks for the help, accepting your opinion.

However, in the first image (where the bird is swimming head-on), the pale back is visible, it is not the flank rolled over.
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 18:19   #5
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I can't see why this is not a Scaup, looks fat headed to me, also quite rounded headshape, and if that is a pale back as it sure appears to be, then why not?
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 21:25   #6
JWN Andrewes
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Not sure I'd like to take a punt on what this might be, but I don't think I'd be comfortable with calling it a Scaup, chiefly because, as Steve pointed out, it has an awful lot of black across the tip of the bill. Then again the grey back does kind of put the kibosh on Tuftie. What else is in the frame in that part of the world?
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 22:47   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWN Andrewes View Post
What else is in the frame in that part of the world?
Aythya spp. mapped as occurring in the area:
Common Pochard
Ferruginous Duck
Tufted Duck

Not Greater Scaup, other than as a 'mega' rarity
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Old Saturday 13th January 2018, 04:29   #8
Roozbeh Gazdar
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Thanks all, the pale back keeps niggling me. And while there is a lot of black in the bill, not sure if that is an artifact of the poor quality image though.

As of now I think I will keep this as atheya sp.
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Old Saturday 13th January 2018, 04:50   #9
RafaelMatias
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roozbeh Gazdar View Post
Thanks all, the pale back keeps niggling me. And while there is a lot of black in the bill, not sure if that is an artifact of the poor quality image though.

As of now I think I will keep this as atheya sp.
Hi,
you're right to think it's weird for a Tufted Duck to have a pale "back". But as it's been suggested above, the bird has rolled over its right side (still managing to hold the neck quite straight, as ducks have quite long necks if stretched) in order to scratch its head (as you can see on photo 2). The pale "back" is indeed the left flank. On your 1st pic, even if the left leg is lowered, the body is in the same position as on pic #2 (the dark area to the rear of the body, leveled with the water surface, is the vent). Look also at the wingtip position, clearly showing the bird's body is not in a horizontal stance.
Here's some examples of Tufties doing the rolling/scratching thing:
1. http://c8.alamy.com/comp/BTXEYB/tuft...any-BTXEYB.jpg
2. http://c8.alamy.com/comp/BBKT8M/tuft...-at-BBKT8M.jpg
3. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gKtsV1UZLR...ieston+Dam.jpg
4. http://c8.alamy.com/comp/AB1YWE/tuft...spb-AB1YWE.jpg
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