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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

23 September, 2015

Pochard: playing it cool

My first reaction to this photograph was that it was not a good enough to grace the Internet; then, on reflection, I thought that as my motives are not to display exceptional photographs (because I do not take exceptional photographs) but to show nature as we tend to see it then is a fairly typical view of a pochard (Aythya ferina)!
Pochard are related to the tufted duck and are often seen in the company of them, they both favour fresh water locations. In general, however, while the 'tuftie' is an active duck, always going somewhere, doing something, saying something, the pochard is much more laid back. In fact, they seem to spend most of the time drifting around, often with their head under their wing like this one.
Not as common as the tuftie, the pochard has unmistakable grey flanks and an attractively coloured maroon neck and head; rusty coloured perhaps hence ferina - 'of iron'. When the head comes out from under the wing it is often hunched up with little trace of the neck and the head has a rather pointed appearance!

Read more: Pochard: playing it cool