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.