Friday, 6 April 2018


A selection of ducks that came near enough to the hides for me to photograph:

At Leighton Moss there is large population of teal. They are small dabbling ducks; the males have very attractive plumage and the females are rather less showy, mottled brown. Some breed here but many are winter visitors from the Baltic and Siberia.

For many years I overlooked and could never identify the duck below: a (male) gadwall. I've got better at spotting them lately. They are not especially common, only about 1200 summer breeding pairs in the UK, though more overwinter here. From a distance they just look grey but seen close up they are actually rather pretty, with nice faces and subtly patterned plumage.

Below is a very elegant duck, a male pintail, with a sweep of white up its neck and the characteristic slim, pointed tail feathers. They were right over the other side of the scrape so my photo is enlarged and heavily cropped and thus a bit grainy.

Moorhens (not really ducks) are quite common but lovely to see, darting busily about. The males, close up, have attractive subtle colourings with a grey-blue belly and brown back. Their red and yellow beak is distinctive. 


  1. Beautiful photos, thankyou for the duck names

  2. They all look unusual to me. Thanks for all of the info about their names!

  3. They're all beautiful, and of types that we do not see here.

  4. Wonderful photographs. The first three are common winter visitors here in central Texas, USA. Not so sure about the Moorhen. It looks familiar; might have a different name here. But I know the first three well. The iridescence on teals is lovely...we have blue teal as well. Thanks for these lovely photos.

  5. You and I both posted ducks on the same day, April 6. Of course, yours are fancier than mine were.


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