Sunday, 2 February 2014

Tufted Duck x Pochard Hybrid - Chatsworth

Checking the ducks on the river at Chatsworth this morning one duck in a group of 6 Tufted looked distinctly odd. I think this is the product of a male Pochard and female Tufted Duck. These hybrids occasionally lead to claims of Lesser Scaup but there are some clear differences shown in these photos. Lesser Scaup (follow this link to photos of the bird last year at Ogston) only has the nail of the bill black and the back is more distinctly vermiculated. Also the eye looks orange rather than yellow which makes me think this is the offspring of a male Pochard.
Several Crossbill in the larches by the second weir and a pair of Gooseander were the only other birds of note.

Tufted Duck x Pochard hybrid


  1. Hi Andy - nice to see your pics of the tuftie hybrid - I saw the same bird about 3 weeks ago on Swiss lake but it was very distant sculking under the trees and I had it down as a possible scaup. I went back a few days later and although it was still distant I decided like you it was a Tufted Pochard hybrid. Yesterday I saw the Lesser Scaup at Tittesworth res so it was good to see your pics and compare the two - easily confused.

  2. Thanks Steve, I recall seeing a report of a possible Scaup on Swiss Lake and it did cross my mind that it could be this bird. Presumably means the bird has been in the area for some time so we may get further opportunities to have a look at it. I think the bill pattern and lack of darker vermiculations are pretty clear diferences but depend on the viewing distance and light to some extent.


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