• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Unknown pair of Ducks (Den Oever, Netherlands, Waddensea, April 2nd, 2021) (1 Viewer)

Frank-birding

Frank van de Velde
Supporter
Today (April 2nd, 2021, morning) I saw in the distance a pair of Ducks that I can't ID. Location: Den Oever, Netherlands, Southern-most edge of Waddensea. I saw the birds right on the shoreline, in the (very) soft surf, in a small group of Ducks. The rest of this group consisted of 5 male and 7 female (Northern) Pintails and a single male and a single female (Eurasian) Widgeon.

The female appears to have a long orange bill. It's very unfortunate that I was only able to take these blurry images over a great distance in a stiff breeze and overcast weather. And most of all that I managed to miss the male's head entirely...

In the last image I included the entire group to allow for comparison of sizes.

Would someone be able to help me ID these Ducks, based on these abysmal images?

Regards, Frank
 

Attachments

  • 20210402_104024_Fuji-X-T3_DSCF3832.jpg
    20210402_104024_Fuji-X-T3_DSCF3832.jpg
    67.3 KB · Views: 54
  • 20210402_104021_Fuji-X-T3_DSCF3828.jpg
    20210402_104021_Fuji-X-T3_DSCF3828.jpg
    66 KB · Views: 60
  • 20210402_104024_Fuji-X-T3_DSCF3833.jpg
    20210402_104024_Fuji-X-T3_DSCF3833.jpg
    45 KB · Views: 53
  • 20210402_104019_Fuji-X-T3_DSCF3826.jpg
    20210402_104019_Fuji-X-T3_DSCF3826.jpg
    94.5 KB · Views: 50
  • 20210402_104020_Fuji-X-T3_DSCF3827.jpg
    20210402_104020_Fuji-X-T3_DSCF3827.jpg
    95.8 KB · Views: 41
  • 20210402_104021_Fuji-X-T3_DSCF3829.jpg
    20210402_104021_Fuji-X-T3_DSCF3829.jpg
    65.8 KB · Views: 41
  • 20210402_104022_Fuji-X-T3_DSCF3830.jpg
    20210402_104022_Fuji-X-T3_DSCF3830.jpg
    64.5 KB · Views: 38
  • 20210402_104022_Fuji-X-T3_DSCF3831.jpg
    20210402_104022_Fuji-X-T3_DSCF3831.jpg
    66.4 KB · Views: 37
  • 20210402_104019_Fuji-X-T3_DSCF3826 1.jpg
    20210402_104019_Fuji-X-T3_DSCF3826 1.jpg
    753.7 KB · Views: 50

nartreb

Speak softly and carry a long lens
Unless my eyes are playing tricks on me, the leader of the pair has curly feathers over the base of his tail. In other words, he's a mallard. (Presumably with some domestic ancestry, since his coloration is not wild-type). The following bird looks fine for a mallard hen to me. (I was worried the bill was too pale, but if you say it's orange, that's good.)
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hard pictures, at least for me, but: female seems to be a Mallard, and the appearent male seems to be an aberantly coloures male Mallard, I can just make out the curled feathers above the tail and what appears to be a good jizz for a Mallard.
Shape and position of white spot on wing seems wrong for a Gadwall, as is jizz of a long billed duck, better for Mallard (hard to judge), dark, dirty brown body (wishfull thinking at its best), and orange bill.
Answer is there, agree with nartreb!
 

Frank-birding

Frank van de Velde
Supporter
Hello Nartreb and Alexander,

Thank you both! Mallard didn't occur to me at all, as the drake seems so solidly cinnamon/rusty-brown collared.
But indeed, a great many varieties of hybrids exist. So that must be it. Thanks again for solving my puzzle!

(I derive the shade and color of the hen's bill from these pictures as well. The wind was too much to hold the binos steady enough, so these photos are the best view I got myself too.)

Regards, Frank
 

MJB

Well-known member
Hello Nartreb and Alexander,

Thank you both! Mallard didn't occur to me at all, as the drake seems so solidly cinnamon/rusty-brown collared.
But indeed, a great many varieties of hybrids exist. So that must be it. Thanks again for solving my puzzle!

(I derive the shade and color of the hen's bill from these pictures as well. The wind was too much to hold the binos steady enough, so these photos are the best view I got myself too.)

Regards, Frank
The ability of Mallard to hybridise with so many duck species to produce huge variability in colouring of offspring yet which often retain a Mallard general shape may be why so many UK birders call the hybrids 'Muddy Ducks'...
MJB
 

Frank-birding

Frank van de Velde
Supporter
That’s a good pointer as well. I realise that I was mostly focussing on plumage and color in ID-attempts like this one, and hardly taking overall shape into account.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top