Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Aythya farina

Or Pochard.

The Common Pochard is a gregarious, stocky diving duck, smaller than a Mallard, and forms large flocks in winter, often mixing with other diving ducks, such as the Tufted Duck, which they are known to hybridise with. The male is pale grey with a rusty red head and neck, a red eye, and a black breast and tail.

The female is brown with a dark head and blotchy cheeks.

In flight, birds show a pale grey wing-stripe

Their diet consists of plants, seeds, snails, small fish and insects.

They nest from early April, to early June, near to ponds with overgrown vegetation. It consists of a heap of aquatic vegetation and plant material, lined with down and some feathering.
The female lays 6-11, greenish coloured eggs, and she incubates them for 24-26 days beginning when the last egg is laid. The chicks leave the nest upon hatching and make their first flight at 50 to 55 days.



  1. So beautiful. Such an informative post. I wonder if we have these birds in North America. Must do some research.

  2. My wife and I went to Iceland 12 years ago and she thinks we saw them there. She remembers that Lake Myvatn is supposed to be a duck migration hot spot.

  3. A very handsome duck...I love the male's rusty head and red eye. I love the photo where they are all breaking free of the water to fly...the sight of the splashing is so lovely--especially now that everything is ice and snow covered now.

  4. Thanks Linda. They are a lovely bird, but do seem to spend a lot of time sleeping lol

    Thanks Mike. I think they do venture to Iceland.
    They're very common here, especially at the moment.

    Thanks Kelly. They're having a tough time at the moment finding some unfrozen water to splash around in.

  5. Informative post Keith,and some great photos.

  6. Thanks for all this Keith. It's odd that the lakes up here have nothing but Mallard.

  7. Nice photos about an interesting duck.

  8. Lovely images .. Theres 5 males on my local patch at Par in Cornwall atm which is a new patch tickk for me

  9. That second shot is brilliant Keith.

  10. A nice blog and a brilliant photos.

  11. Informative post with nice photos. They do winter in Switzerland and so I get to see them.

  12. I really must go looking for ducks more this coming year, Keith. I have always loved them for their striking colours. Merry Christmas.

  13. What a beautiful waterbird--the top photo almost looks like decoys lined up bobbing in the water. A great look into the life of the Pochard!

  14. Beautiful duck and nice photos! I've seen this one in Norway, but we don't have many of them here.

  15. Your captures are beautiful! Ducks are so entertaining.

  16. Hi Keith...I like the first photo with all those rusty heads just about the only visible part of the Pochards... all headed in the same direction!!
    Informative post!!
    Hugs..keep warm!!

  17. Beautiful looking duck and good captures. Boom & Gary.

  18. I don't remember seing these before and they are beautiful. The top shot is so cool!

  19. A favourite bird of mine also. Lovely images.

  20. Handsome ducks. You've got some nice shots and great info about them to boot!

  21. Thanks for the info on the water birds,I do not know alot about them.Someone tells me that there is a spot near me to photograph the blue heron,so hopefully I`ll get pictures of them before the year is over.
    Your photographs are breathtaking,I have been here before & drolled over them,so now I will follow,phylliso in Pa

  22. that is a pretty duck. your photos are great as always.

    Merry Christmas!

  23. Great duck shots. Your Pochards seem very similar to our Canvasbacks and Redheads.

  24. First of all, apologies for late replies. I had some trouble with some snow yesterday.

    Thank you Trevor, glad you enjoyed it.

    Adrian, there’s a couple of lakes not far from my local, that have Teal. A rarity on my local. Strange how some birds have a preference. I’m sure Mallards would be happy just about anywhere there is water. Even a temporary puddle lol

    Thank you Kozma :)

    Thanks Mark. Safe to say there are over a hundred at my local lake; although if this freeze continues their numbers will probably fall.

    Thanks Roy. :)

    Fleetwood Birder, thank you. Glad you enjoyed them :)

    Thanks Bob :)

    Thanks dreamfalcon. :)

    Thanks Emma. They brighten up a dull winters day.
    Have a good Christmas too.

    Thanks Dixxe. There were quite a few others in that first shot. Couldn’t get them all in. They looked quite comical.

    Thanks Øyvind :)

    Thank you EmptyNester, glad you enjoyed them :)

    Thanks grammie. :)

    Gary, thank you :)

    Thanks JM :)

    Thank you Andrew :)

    Thank you Sally :)

    Phyllisso, thank you for your comments, and following. Good luck with the Heron shots.

    Thanks Doreen, and a merry Christmas to you too :)

    Thanks Harold. I think they are from the same family :)

  25. Great serie, its a very nice duck. #6 is a very impressive and high quality image.

    I wish you a happy christmas and a good year ;)

  26. Thanks Dominic.
    Have a good Christmas too. :)

  27. Wonderful shots of the pochards, HM!

  28. Great informative post about the Pochard, I can't say that I knew anything about this species of duck. I will have to look out for these, see if there are any on our local waters.

  29. Nice birds! May the Christmas season
    fill your home with joy,
    your heart with love
    and your life with laughter. Luzia is
    wishing you peace, prosperity and health for 2011.

  30. Kyle, thank you for your comment. :)

    woodpecker, thank you. If you see any, they will probably look like the last picture. Always seem to be sleeping lol

    Lucy, thank you for your comment and wishes.
    Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year too.

  31. nice shots of the Pochards. I love the male´s red head.

    I think you might be right about the swifts I posted. Maybe there were a spot they could feed from.