Wednesday, January 02, 2008


A lovely, stout, diving duck - the Pochard.

In common with most ducks, the drake has the bolder plumage, with a grey body, a black chest and a chesnut head.
Rather like the Collared Dove I photographed last year, the Pochard has an incredibly coloured bright red eye. Click here to see an excellent image (on the WAB site) of a Pochard's eye.

We took a nice walk around the Walthamstow reservoirs on our new year break - where ths raft of eight drake Pochard(s) were sleeping. That is very often typical behaviour of these ducks. They are certainly far from rare at this time of the year in the UK (almost all fly of to breed in eastern Europe come the spring), but unlike Tufted Ducks and Drakes which seem to be constantly active and often found nearer shorelines of lakes and reservoirs, the Pochards will form their rafts nearer the middle of such bodies of water, and spend a fair proportion of their time, heads tucked into the feathers on their backs, fast asleep, as seven of my eight were!

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