Tuesday, 10 March 2015

White Nun.


One of the smallest sawbills is the compact and very shy Smew (Mergellus albellus) that breeds in the northern boreal forests of Scandinavia and Russia.. A few individuals migrate in the winter to regular sites in the South of England but are often difficult to locate. I have not been sucessful in finding one this winter so here are a few images taken during a stroll around the wildfowl collection at the London Wetland Centre (WWT) last week.


As you can see the male in full breeding plumage is very distinctive hence it is commonly known as the 'White Nun' and its appearance always reminds me of 'cracked ice'. Conversely the females and immatures are commonly known as 'redheads'.




 In anyone's language this has to be one of the most stunning little diving ducks.  FAB.

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday hosted by Stewart. So click the link to view numerous other species from around the globe.

31 comments:

  1. Very interesting bird and post. wonderful.

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  2. Stunning Images Frank,lucky you.
    Well done.
    John.

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  3. Isn't he just the most regal looking little fellow you have ever seen. Gorgeous photos Frank. It's been raining here all week. UGH! Better however than snow and ice and sleet. Carol

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  4. Stunning indeed and thanks for showing your photos - I had never even heard of this bird let alone seen photos of it.

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  5. Well, another duck I have not seen before, gorgeous birds!

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  6. Wow, what beautiful ducks! Especially the male (of course!). This is a new species for me and I am pleased to know of it now. Fantastic photos!!! I want to get on a plane and go wherever these beauties live. :)

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  7. Oh wow Frank! I have never seen or heard of this bird! Fabulous shots, thanks for sharing!

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  8. It is a beautiful duck, great post and photos.

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  9. Great images Frank a super bird, have only ever seen one a female on the local res years ago.
    Great stuff.

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  10. A very pretty male black and white bird. He is so attractive in his full breeding plumagem.

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  11. it is so beautiful and there was 1 in Inch Island, Donegal that I managed to see a few times. I was thrilled.

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  12. What beautiful ducks. I have never seen a photo of one before. Thanks for sharing it.

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  13. wow...never seen one of these guys before. Mother has such an imagination in filling in all the niches. She amazes me. Such beauty everywhere!

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  14. They are wonderful birds. Never seen a wild male, just in collections at various wetland centres. On my list though. Hopefully 2015.

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  15. HI Frank...Whatever you call him he is handsome !!

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  16. Smew seem to be regarded as the big prize by many winter waterfowling birders...stunning birds. Never seen one myself, obviously!

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  17. What a gorgeous duck! Great photos!

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  18. Fantastic shots. That is a really beautiful bird.

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  19. Love the photos Frank of your ducks. Male and female I suppose.

    oh the Black and white markings. I never seen anything like this color.

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  20. Beuatiful ducks ! Your shots are gorgeous as always !

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  21. What a gorgeous diving duck. And the name is fun to say outloud:) Hope to see these birds out in the wild.

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  22. Beautiful pictures. What lovely looking ducks.

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  23. Gorgeous ducks..wonderful shots..Have a wonderful weekend..

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  24. Super cool looking duck. I like the name, "White Nun."

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  25. They are stunning... Both male and female. It is interesting to me that they're so totally different , a casual birder definitely wouldn't realize male and female were the same duck.

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  26. What a fabulous looking bird, love the top notch feathers~

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  27. WOW !!!! This is really great! The nun is a wonderful little merganser and his beautiful drawing in the feathers makes him so unique. Beautiful oil pictures. My compliments.

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