Monday, 8 March 2010

Smartly dressed Pochard on the pond.

In my previous post 'Stroll in the Park' I mentioned finding the pair of Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina) on the main pond in Richmond Park that I first photographed last December but only managed close shots of the female on the previous occasion.
Last week the pair swam around in very close company so the opportunity presented itself to get some more close ups but the only decent vantage point meant that I was facing directly into the early afternoon sun and in my haste to get some shots I failed to compensate for this strong back-light. Some very minor post-processing and cropping has helped to recover the less than perfect shot images. 
As is typical of most species, the female is far less conspicuous than the male but easily identified by the neat rounded head (the Common Pochard has a sloping forehead) and pink edges to the tip of her bill.
The male was wearing his full breeding finery. In the right light his firey-orange coiffed crown almost appears to glow. In flight white wing bars and the white flank boardered by the very dark black belly is very distinctive.
He spent a few moments checking that everything was up to scratch.
In eclipse (non breeding) plumage  the male looks very similar to a juvenile except he continues to retain his red eye and coral-red bill. If this pair are true migrants I'm not sure how much longer they will hang around but they certainly make a colourful addition to the other pond inhabitants.   FAB.

17 comments:

  1. They make a very handsome pair. Great post.

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  2. These are beauties Frank, and always cause much excitement wherever they turn up.
    Lovely shots. That male really is a stunner with his fiery head dress, and matching bill.

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  3. Green with envy this time Frank, super shots of a species which would be a lifer for me.

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  4. Wonderful photos! The head on that male is stunning.

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  5. Wonderful images Frank, just wonderful.

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  6. Lovely photos Frank, they are very distinctive and handsome birds. I have never seen them.

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  7. Great pictures, I like the first picture of the male preening himself, I think he knows he is a handsome duck:-)

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  8. Oh, how lucky to be in the right place at the right time this time! It was well worth the wait, though, wasn't it? Beautiful captures, and thanks for all the information. Not likely I'll ever see this species, but one never knows! ~karen

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  9. Colorful in an understatement! They are gorgeous birds. Love your photography.

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  10. Some lovely images there, could do with a pair of them on my patch!

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  11. Fabulous shots Frank! That male certainly knows he's handsome doesn't he! I love that one head on of him preening (I nearly typed pruning!) (-:

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  12. Wilma. They certainly do.

    Keith. Intrestingly nobody else was paying them any attention!

    Monty. You'll have to come East some time.

    Richard King. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the acknowledgement.

    Roy. Cheers.

    Jan. The male is certainly very distinctive. South-east corner of UK is the regular haunt in winter.

    Linda Yarrow. Yes he definitely knows who's the best!

    ks. Karen you are always welcome.

    Mona. Thank you very much.

    Warren. You're in the right area so who knows..one day.

    Jenny. He is is a very smart chap.

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  13. A handsome pair, and the image you captured with the head tucked over is outstanding, love the lighting. Beautiful series of photographs~

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  14. You certainly are getting some great waterfowl shooting.

    This is a duck that I had never heard of before; just one of the things I love about wildlife blogging, learning new things.

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  15. Mary HC. Thanks. I would have prefered not to have to shoot direct into the sun but fortunately it worked out ok.

    Coy. Once in a while a good opportunity crops up and happy to show you a species you haven't seen.

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  16. Very pretty pair of ducks! I really like the soft bouffant head plummage!

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  17. cindyzlogic. They were the smartest dressed on the pond that day.

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