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Duck at Titchwell, UK (1 Viewer)

Took this at RSPB Titchwell UK last week. Not so good at ducks, thought it was a weird coloured pochard, now not so sure. Is it possible it's a canvasback??


IMG_7816_cropped_resized.JPG
 

Butty

Well-known member
Yes looks like a canvasback - unless that pale bit on the bill indicates other genes being present as well. And also looks tame enough to be an escape.
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello,

I am not convinced, but far from an expert (only saw them in captivity):
Yes, it looks weird for me, too. But the reason for the weird impression might well be single picture effects with
  • depressed head, just before diving. Or has it just popped up and water changing head shape?
  • some unsharpening halo, changing and enlarging head and bill shape
My thoughts:
  • I agree with Butty, that bill colouration is better for a Pochard (yes an hybrid might well be an answer)
  • vermicalutations on the body are better for a Pochard
  • head/bill shape seems not weird enough for a Canvasback
  • I was alerted by this duck Bemerkung zur Beobachtung - www.ornitho.de, that identifying a Canvasback isnt as easy as field guides suggest (yes, the few I have seen were weird=easy birds. But thats the point I think, I dont have only little experience with Canvasback)
  • I have seen a Pochard some years ago, that looked weird for me. It had a head shape reminiscent of a Canvasback, but was identified by Christian Dietzen and Chistoph Randler as a Pochard (thanks again)

Any more pictures?
 
Yes, it looks weird for me, too. But the reason for the weird impression might well be single picture effects with
  • depressed head, just before diving. Or has it just popped up and water changing head shape?
  • some unsharpening halo, changing and enlarging head and bill shape
It wasn't diving, the water was very shallow so it was feeding by just sticking its head underwater. Also I used minimal sharpening so I don't think there are any artifacts. I can post the original (5.1MB)
 

MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
Surely the 'pale subterminal band', or in layman's terms the whitish bit between the black tip and the rest of the black bill, rules out Canvasback. which doesn't show this feature? (I think it's got some gubbins on the end of the bill from its dabbling which may also make it look like the bill has a different shape from Pochard.)
 

stevethehydra

Well-known member
Canvasback is about Mallard size, so the size comparison with the Gadwall here suggests this can't be a pure one. Could be a hybrid, but I suspect a leucistic/"dilute" plumage variant of Pochard (they seem to exist in most ducks...)
 

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