6 Jun 2012

Ring-necked Duck, Frodsham No. 6

Caught up with this bird today and was initially thrown by its appearance. It took me a long time to convince myself it was actually a Ring-necked Duck and not a hybrid! The bill pattern wasn't as striking as some I've seen but was present and correct although faint.
The flanks were speckled and not smoothly grey and the wing bar looked a little to bright on the secondaries at times but in retrospect that is probably due to the light. The head shape is right and the chestnut collar around the neck could be seen on occasions when the bird stretched its neck.

My initial thoughts were 1st summer male but checking with B.W.P moult begins in May to July so it could be an adult drake starting its moult. Or it could be a 1st summer!

Whatever, a cracking find by Mr Moreton.

 Head profile spot on for R N Duck .
 Flanks streaked but clear demarcation between white spur and 'grey' flank.
Bill pattern faint but present.

 Note grey inner wing bar on secondaries but browner outer wing bar on primaries. Dark markings on outer secondary could denote 1st summer bird?
 You can just about make out the chestnut collar

This is my second for Cheshire following the Astley Mere bird in November 2011.
See pic below and you'll see what I mean about the bill markings.

Finally the crappy pic below was taken at Avonmouth sewage works in December 2006 but again shows the striking bill pattern.

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