05 March 2006

Wild Swan/Duck Chase

Went looking for Bewick's Swan and Scaup today, I saw neither, the swans weren't there and the 'scaup' wasn't a Scaup. Whilst searching through the Mute Swans in the Usk valley, I did manage to add Common Sandpiper to the year list, so the total plods onwards.

Having given up on the swans I dropped in at Uskmouth to look for the reported Scaup. Unfortunately, what I assume to be the bird in question, is a Pochard hybrid (pics below). This individual has been around for a while now and is quite striking when seen briefly, however, the bill pattern, grey wingbar, solidly dark mantle/scaps, Pochard-like head shape, dull iris and the shape of the pale patches on the head all point to a whole lot of Pochard genes (presumably inter-mixed with Tufted Duck?).

Ho-hum, another day birding in Gwent.

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