22nd November 2018

Wigeon: here is another easy to identify duck, larger than the Teal I featured recently and, unless you live in Scotland and the North of England where they breed, more likely to be spotted over winter on wetlands and coastal areas, like these at Spurn. Our populations are boosted by  over-wintering influxes from Iceland, Scandinavia and Russia. A dabbling duck, feeding in large and often mixed groups in shallow water, on eel grass and pond plants, often eating up the weed disturbed by larger water-birds, they will also graze in groups on grassland. If you are trying to identify them, the male is the most easily distinguished, and Wigeon show a lot more white- on their bellies and the males on their wings when in flight-

Male Wigeon

Male Wigeon

Male Wigeon, landing

Female Wigeon

than when on water. Conditions: A grey day after a gorgeous sunny day at Spurn yesterday. Temperature: Max 8 Min 5C. 

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22nd January 2016

Reflections:  At Old Moor RSPB reserve near Barnsley there weren’t many birds which led me to concentrate on the patterns they make in the waterWigeon have such beautiful feather patterns anyway, and this pair drifted close to the Family Hide. They weren’t put off by the flock of garrulous men in the hide like I was! Even the Black Headed Gull, with it’s winter plumage of one dark cheek-spot rather than a fully dark head, looked beautiful. Conditions: Mild, wet morning predicted to brighten later. Temperature: Max 10- Min 4c.IMG_3800

Black Headed Gull in winter plumage

Black Headed Gull in winter plumage

A pair of Wigeon at Old Moor

A pair of Wigeon at Old Moor