Unidentified Flying Ducks…

The animals came in two by two… A pair of mystery water birds.

Right folks, I’m after some help from anyone who knows anything about water birds! I’m posting these photos of birds that are geese or ducks for my Saturday Snapshot in the hopes that someone can tell me what they are. This area is full of water – rivers, canals, streams, lakes, and pools left from old industries, like mining and quarrying. Consequently, there’s a wealth of wildlife, and I can recognise most of the birds, but currently there are three strange ducks or geese on Borrowpit Lake in Tamworth which I’ve tried, and failed, to photograph over the last couple of months.

Anyway on Wednesday, two of them were stood on the grass, outlined against the water, so I crept up on them, and managed to get one shot before they jumped into the water and swam off. 

Oh bother, I thought, missed again… BUT, just out of view was the third bird, sitting on the bank, happy as Larry, so I crouched down, and kept as quiet as I could, and managed to get a few pictures before he (or she) rushed off to join the others. 
Sitting pretty… This stayed here long enough for me to get a
few pictures and as you can see, she’s not black at all.
From a distance they look black, but if you get close enough you can see the most beautiful iridescent dark green feathers on the head, body, and parts of the wings. The rest of the wings are shaded in browns and greys, and there are splodgy white patches on the front of the neck. They’ve got bright yellow bills, with a black mark at the front, and the feet are a pinky colour. 
In this photo the bill and the white throat markings are clearer.
 Size-wise, they’re bigger than mallards, but smaller than Canada Geese, and I’ve not seen them feeding or flying, and they don’t seem to dive. Whatever they are, I assume they can’t be all that common, because they are the only three I’ve seen – there are none on the Coventry Canal, or the Anker, or the Tame. 
A close-up (well, as close as I could get ) of the foot, but it’s
more pinkish than it looks here.
I’ve looked online, and in books, but I’m as mystified as ever, because nothing seems to match, so please, if anyone out there can identify them, could you let me know?

And meanwhile, here are two exotic-looking Muscovy Ducks pictured on the muddy towpath alongside the Coventry Canal at Polesworth when I went out for a walk this morning. They are there most of the time, and I think they must be escapees from a local house, or descendants of escapees! At any rate, they add a nice splash of colour to the scene.
I love these Muscovy Ducks – they look so exotic.
Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce at http://athomewithbooks.net/ where you can see photos from other participants all over the world.

53 thoughts on “Unidentified Flying Ducks…

  1. They seem to have confused most people Alyce (especially me!)I couldn't even work out if they ducks or geese, but the response has been fantastic, and I now know what these birds are – all thanks to your Saturday Snapshot spot, so thank you for hosting it and giving me to a platform where I could shout for help!


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