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Lesser or Greater Scaup

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Old Tuesday 22nd February 2005, 05:15   #1
Kildale
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Lesser or Greater Scaup

I have a problem ID'ing these ducks. Can anyone say which they are, the lesser or the greater. I have them marked as the lesser, but I can change, if I have too. Also is the lower one a male juvie as it doesn't have that white band above the bill.
LESSER or GREATER
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Old Tuesday 22nd February 2005, 09:33   #2
Andrew Whitehouse
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I think this is a pretty tricky species pair and it's often hard to be certain from photos. I think, on balance, that you're right about all three being Lesser Scaup. I wondered about the middle bird but the bill pattern and coarse vermiculations would point more towards Lesser rather than Greater. I think you're also correct that the bottom bird is an immature drake.
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Old Tuesday 22nd February 2005, 09:41   #3
Steve Lister
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kildale
I have a problem ID'ing these ducks. Can anyone say which they are, the lesser or the greater. I have them marked as the lesser, but I can change, if I have too. Also is the lower one a male juvie as it doesn't have that white band above the bill.
LESSER or GREATER
I would say that all three are Lessers, with the lower one being a first winter male.
In Britain Lesser is a rarity and Greater is uncommon except in certain coastal areas.

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Old Tuesday 22nd February 2005, 09:51   #4
Joern Lehmhus
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agreed, all Lessers with the ageing and sexing as said.

Lesser Scaup in Europe is rare, as said above; but sometimes in Europe there are hybrids (mainly Tufted Duck X Common Pochard) with superficially similar appearance, but bill pattern (generally more black on tip than lesser scaup) eye colour (often orange, not yellow) and the very fine vermiculations on the back of such hybrids are giveaways in most cases.
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Old Tuesday 22nd February 2005, 21:12   #5
Ruby
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Hi,

Another pointer for Lesser is the bump on the hind-crown.... Bit inconclusive on these photos, but all 3 birds appear to show this feature.

Fantastic pics, BTW....
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Old Tuesday 22nd February 2005, 21:15   #6
Nutcracker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kildale
Also is the lower one a male juvie as it doesn't have that white band above the bill.
LESSER or GREATER
Yes, immature drake, because of the retained brown juvenile feathers on the lower neck
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Old Wednesday 23rd February 2005, 04:02   #7
Kildale
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Thank you all for the help its greatly appreciated.
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