Tufted x Scaup Hybrid @ Caelaverock WWT - 16th March 2010

I was working up in Dumfries again today and with Caerlaverock WWT being less than fifteen minutes away it would have been rude not to call in, if only for forty minutes. The intention was to try and photograph the Tufted x Scaup hybrid that has been seen from the Peter Scott Hide. Again I arrived at feeding time so the hide was pretty full but I managed to chat with one of the wardens who had just seen it and pointed me in the right area. I managed a few distant shots before moving upstairs for a better view. It was a hard bird to pick out from upstairs amongst the other drake Tufted and the fact it kept diving but I eventfully managed a few reasonable shots off before having to head home. A you can see from the photos it favours the Tufted form but lacks the tuft and has the grey back of a Scaup. Another noticeable feature of this bird is the black tip is less pronounced than on a drake Tufted.
The American Wigeon was still showing well amongst the other Wigeon and the Whooper Swan are still there including a few Lancashire birds so I’m sure they’ll be heading north soon. The 100+ Barnacle Geese could be seen in a distant field, I’d missed them on my last visit but Mike had told me were to look and it was hard to miss them. The usual mix of House Sparrow, Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer Chaffinch and Greenfinch could be seen on the hedges and feeders on the walk back.


Anonymous said...

Good photos, espcially of the head shape which apparently is the easiest way to separate it from the parents. It must be handy being forced to work so close to Caerlaverock! Mike.

Colin Bushell said...

Great pics of the hybrid. The Solway appears to be a bit of a hot bed for these types. There's one like you saw (but with a paler mantle) in the Scaup flock at nearby Powfoot and I saw a "Pochard-type" (with a chestnut head) on Auchereoch Loch alongside the A75 a couple of weeks ago.