|What are those up there?|
We didn't really go just for this, we stopped by Nosterfield Nature Reserve for a walk and just in case we could see it. We started off with our usual walk around the reserve and the nearby henge. It's a lovely place. The call of Curlews and Lapwing are the main things I hear at the reserve. We also saw masses of Wigeon and quite a few Osystercatchers. A lovely Grey Heron came in but didn't settle and it was nice to watch it with its big slow wingbeats fly right across our view and off to a neighbouring lake. No Ring Necked Duck though.
|The forest floor is coming to life again!|
Dogs Mercury almost in flower
After we'd done that we got back to the car and drove to Lingham Lake, which is next to the working quarry. We wondered if the Ring Necked Duck would be there. Well it turned up almost immediately! Well, at least we think it was but both it was quite far away and a struggle to see clearly even with binoculars so sorry the photo is pretty ropey.
|But the snowdrops are out in force - beautiful flowers!|
This bird had no cheek patches, no tuft and the plumage patterns looked quite good for the Ring Necked Duck. Sadly it wasn't close enough to make out its bill, not helped by the fact it was diving of course! Well only being about 80-90% certain I'm not sure if I can put this on my list but anyway I thought it was worth learning more about these birds so here are some facts:
- Seeing as these aren't native to the UK, just a rare vagrant, it was hard to find many facts on them, so sorry again if there isn't as many as usual.
- As I have just said, the Ring Necked Duck is not native to the UK, and is a visitor sometimes seen resting here in England.
- They breed and usually live in North America, spending the hotter parts of the year in Canada and going South in the Winter months.
- They are easily confused with the Tufted Duck and Goldeneye, with mostly the same patterns all along its body.
|The best shot I could get with my camera :-(|
(but it was a very grey day !)
- The way to tell the Male apart is to luck at its cheek, it doesn't have a white patch, and it also doesn't have a tuft on its head, and you can easily tell the Female from other birds.
- They are omnivorous and so will eat Worms, Leeches, Snails and plant matter such as pondweed.
- They find all this by either diving or dabbling. We found that they preferred to dive making them very hard to spot!
- When the Female is laying her eggs, she will actually lay one a day until there are about 8 - 10 ready to be incubated.
- They are then incubated for just less than a month, and the mother will stay with them until they are able to fly.
Hope you enjoyed,