The Ducks of Rottingdean Pond. 24.11.12
When I was walking past Rottingdean Pond today (24.11.21), as I do frequently, as my mother lives in Rottingdean and I visit her frequently (walking past the pond to do so), I pondered on what a wonderfully diverse range of ducks the pond has. It has always had Mallards, an some non-Ducks (always Moorhens, and sometimes Coots) but this Autumn they have been joined by a pair of Wigeon, a pair of Tufted Ducks, a pair of Pintails and, mist unusually a pair of Red-Created Pollards The Wigeon, Pintails and Tufted ducks are not unusual winter migrants; the Red-Created Pollards maybe escapee from an ornamental pond/lake as "native" Red-Created Pollards are rare.
The wigeon is a medium-sized duck with a round head and small bill. The head and neck of the male are chestnut, with a yellow forehead, pink breast and grey body. In flight birds show white bellies and males have a large white wing patch.
Wigeons breed in central and northern Scotland and also in northern England. Many birds visit the UK in winter from Iceland, Scandinavia and Russia. With large numbers of wintering birds at a few UK sites, it is an Amber List species. Wigeon Duck Facts | Anas Penelope - The RSPB
Male Tufted Duck
The tufted duck is a medium-sized diving duck, smaller than a mallard. It is black on the head, neck, breast and back and white on the sides. It has a small crest and a yellow eye. In flight it shows an obvious white stripe across the back of the wing. It breeds in the UK across lowland areas of England, Scotland and Ireland, but less commonly in Wales, with most birds being residents. Numbers increase in the UK in winter because of birds moving to the UK from Iceland and northern Europe. Tufted Duck Facts | Aythya Fuligula - The RSPB
Red-Crested Pochards; female Tufted Duck behind
Larger than a pochard, the male has an orange-brown head with a red beak and pale flanks. Females are brown with pale cheeks. In flight they show whitish primaries. They dive, dabble and up-end for their food. There is a large population in Spain and nearer but smaller numbers in France, Netherlands and Germany - and occasional wild birds may come to the UK from the Continent. The UK breeding birds almost certainly all come from escaped birds. Red Crested Pochard Duck Facts | Netta Rufina - The RSPB
Slightly bigger than a mallard, these long-necked and small-headed ducks fly with a curved back pointed wings and a tapering tail, making this the best way to distinguish them from other ducks in the UK.
The pintail is a 'quarry' species, meaning that it can be legally shot in winter, but - unlike in parts of Europe - it does not appear that shooting is affecting their population status in the UK. The small breeding population and significant winter population make them an Amber List species. Pintail Bird Facts | Anas Acuta - The RSPB
Mallards and Wigeon