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UK Help please (1 Viewer)

caveman38

Member
I'm not a poster here, but need help.
Whilst out looking for butterflies, I spotted what I thought was a female blackbird fluffed up sitting in a tree - odd I know. On closer inspection although it was similar colouring (dark brown/black) it proved not to be the case. I could only see the upper two thirds and the other info is.
50% (maybe more) larger than female blackbird, solid colouring (no markings), longer rounded dirty yellow beak. Bold head and body.

Any ideas. Seen in Chase nature reserve, Dagenham, Essex.
 

foresttwitcher

Virtually unknown member
United Kingdom
Size can be very difficult to judge with nothing right next to the bird in question for comparison - I'd suggest a juvenile Blackbird (although the bill colour would not fit); young birds when 'fluffed up' against the weather can appear larger than a 'sleek' adult.
 

caveman38

Member
The bill was a lot longer and fatter than a blackbird. It was also round at the end and was a dirty yellow - gull like
 
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martin.m

Member
What about juvenile cuckoo? They are bigger with more massive bill, and I can certainly imagine how they may seem a bit like a blackbird when seen crouching on a branch, if you've only seen the upper parts.
 
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caveman38

Member
No, but thanks. The bill was gull like in length but rounded at the end. Definitely yellow but stained - not pure yellow.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
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Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
None of the above as the bill wasn't pointed at all. Certainly rounded at the tip.
Thanks anyway.

Did you check the second link above (you need to scroll right down until you see the duck in a tree) Your description does fit a female Mallard which have long round-ended dirty yellow bills (variable). (I assume you were looking up at the bird so from underneath (or above) it would be rounded as here (from a eyelevel side view the round tip isn’t obvious) https://www.pikist.com/free-photo-vzhjs
 
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caveman38

Member
I'm sorry if I appear obstructive. Obviously I don't know what it was, as I've never seen anything that large in a tree in this region (apart from a pigeon) I have never seen water birds in trees.
I have to admit, I never scrolled to the picture of the female mallard and yes from a sideways angle the bill is exactly right. But the colouring is not, as the bird was sold dark brown/black and was a solid colour with no markings (that I could see). I'll search other water birds now you've pointed me in that direction.
If the forum would rather non-birders post, I'd accept that. I do appreciate my post may look a bit amateurish.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
)
I have to admit, I never scrolled to the picture of the female mallard and yes from a sideways angle the bill is exactly right. But the colouring is not, as the bird was sold dark brown/black and was a solid colour with no markings ...

If the forum would rather non-birders post, I'd accept that. I do appreciate my post may look a bit amateurish.

Apologies - I was very tired when I posted and figured you hadn't looked at the link so was rather short ;) The forum is for birders and non-birders alike so absolutely keep posting and IMO you provided some very good observations!

Btw Mallards do come in a variety of colours, including very dark/black, and as you only saw the upper β€˜2/3’ of the bird, it’s possible you could have not noticed any wing markings but good luck with the search - I think most of us have had birds in the past that we didn’t nail the ID on until years later when we had more experience and only realised looking back what it was!
 

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