The Armada arrived!

Discussion in 'Bird' started by marlingardener, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    This morning we had 12 ducks on our pond--Northern Shovelers! This is the first time they have appeared this fall/winter. We were so thrilled (all right, we are easily amused) but the weather prevented getting a photo.
    Here is what a Northern Shoveler looks like, although we didn't take this photo:
    upload_2018-12-14_16-10-28.jpeg
    They were here most of the morning, sometimes in view and sometimes tucked up against the shore where they couldn't be seen.
     
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  3. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Shovelers are the most extraordinary ducks and I'm so glad you have them on your pond. Their bills are unique as they have comblike projections along their edges which filter out tiny crustaceans and seeds from the water.
    As an aside we have a flock of Long Tailed Tits which arrived two days ago in the garden. When they turn up we know we're in for some really cold weather so I've stocked up on food for them and the other birds.
     
  4. Kildale

    Kildale Nature's Window

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    They are a little different duck. I used a picture I took of them down at the lagoon and made a Bill Holder.

    bills.jpg
     
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  5. mart

    mart Hardy Maple

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    Maybe you should send Ducks Unlimited a pic of those Bill Holders !! You could sell them easily !! Some are die hard duck hunters !!
     



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  6. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    A shoveller----I know that bird, Jane! We call it Slobeend (Anas clypeata). When we were doing bird protection, in the field it was difficult to quickly distinguish it from the Bergeend (Tadorna tadorna). It was oké when close up but if it was flying and far away, well, it was a bit more of a challenge.

    Gosh Jane, I am thrilled that you guys have seen a specimen of this lovely duck.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
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  7. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Today we had four Lesser Scaups come to the pond. We usually have waterfowl earlier in the fall, but they are about three weeks behind the usual time. I think the weird weather up north may have affected their flight paths or migration time. Here is a Lesser Scaup (again, this is not our picture, but one I picked up off the 'net from Audubon).
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    My first sighting of a Lesser Scaup was in Shetland a few years ago. Aren't the males really eye catchng? I wonder what other ducks you're going to have visiting your pond? So far here we have Mallards and Goosanders, a few coots and moorhen and some mute and Whooper swans. Herons are here all year round. I hasten to add they are on the ponds around here but my pond is too small for them.
     
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  9. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    I am enjoying seeing the birds that you are seeing there.
     
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