Saturday, 14 April 2012

Garganey




I have yet to take a good photo of a Garganey and as of today I am still waiting.

The Garganey is our only migrant duck that arrives in March and returns to Africa between July and October. There are relatively low numbers of this bird recorded each year due to its `skulking` habit, but it is thought that between 50-150 pairs breed in Britain. Each year I set out with naive ideas that this is the year that I am going to get `the` digiscoped shot that I have been after and each year I fail! The birds are easy to find, but as soon as they clock you, they are off into the undergrowth.

A lovely duck that is smaller than a Mallard, but longer than a Teal. The drake has broad white stripes over the eyes that curve down and meet at the back of the neck. The breast is a mottled brown, with finely barred grey flanks and white belly. The back has black and white drooping feathers. A stunning bird. The duck is typical of female ducks in that she is brown all over, but has a paler throat and a darker eye stripe than that of a female Teal.

A bird that is protected in Britain by special penalties at all times.

26 comments:

  1. I like the white stripe over it's eyes. It is a new duck for me and is very pretty. Thanks for sharing, I always enjoy seeing new and different bird even virtually. Have a great weekend and happy birding!

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    1. Thanks Eileen,
      It is a good looking duck isn`t it?! That`s the wonder of the internet, always new things to find.
      J

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  2. A few well captured shots, nice one.

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    1. Hi Marc,
      Thank you, very kind words for a couple of dark/soft/blurry shots. ;)
      J

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  3. Replies
    1. Hi Bob,
      Yes, they certainly are.
      J

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  4. They certainly are beauties John.
    I've only ever seen a couple at a distance.

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    1. Hi Keith,
      Sometimes you can surprise them and get a bit closer, but then they are off!
      J

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  5. A nice spot anyway John. You don't get many chances with these.
    I did see one at Grummits a few years ago but thats it.

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    1. Hi Roy,
      Yes, it only took me 4 attempts! As soon as the vegetation grows up a bit they will be quite undetectable.
      J

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  6. Still good to get your annual tick. Our recent Garganey was a real confider.

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    1. Hi Mike,
      Yes, another tick on the year list. You were quite lucky with how unabashed yours was.
      J

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  7. It may not have been as close as you would have liked but you still got a duck that not everyone sees so well done! The only place I have seen one is Draycote Water a couple of years ago, they are lovely looking little ducks.

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    1. Hi Jan,
      Thank you. I am lucky in the fact that I saw this lovely little duck, as you say, I should just be happy with that.
      J

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  8. Wonderful birds to see up close...

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    1. Hi Andrew,
      They are indeed, especially the male.
      J

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  9. Looks like a lovely bird! Good luck on getting the shot you are hoping for. We have so migrants that visit here that are the same was, easy to find, but hard to get close.

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    1. Hi Tammy,
      Thank you for the good luck message, I think I will need it!
      J

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  10. It's good to know that rare birds are protected but I suppose those who threaten the birds will do so anyway. I wonder what would cause the Garganey to visit from a long way off for such a short time and why in Springtime?
    Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. Hi Bazza,
      Unfortunately, you are too right in that, people will get to the birds regardless of protection, if they really want to. The Garganey comes here for one reason and one reason only, to breed. The conditions in our Spring and early Summer are perfect for this purpose and so a lot of birds risk the journey to continue the species.
      J

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  11. This bird has beautiful markings.

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    1. Hi Gillian,
      They are very distinctive looking birds.
      J

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  12. I thought I had written here, but perhaps I only thought! Anyway, the thought was this is a beautiful bird indeed. Isn't it a kicker the way the ducks see you long before you see them? I keep hoping to get a wood duck before it has flown off and all that's left of it is a whistling speck!

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    1. Hi Susan,
      You did, I have just been unable to get around to putting the comments up until now, very bad of me, I know.
      Ducks are very `flighty` aren`t they? I suppose it comes from all the years of being hunted, they have developed a sixth sense.
      J

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