Aythya affinis - first for Berkshire   

Lesser scaup is a occasional vagrant to Britain but it wasn't until October 30th this year that it made it onto the Berkshire list. The HBI notes that most reports of this species in the UK have been hybrids - typically of tuftie & pochard. There have been a few "possibles" reported over the years; most recently there was a hybrid at WGP in January 2004 and one on the Jubilee river in March of the same year. Chris Heard found that bird and immediately recognised it as the hybrid which had caused a bit of controversy in Bucks. Berks listers had been teased earlier this year by a long staying bird just over the border in Oxon.

A scaup-type hybrid was found at Woolhampton GP in the last week in October by Ken Moore. Unbeknown to Ken, or anyone else, there was both a lesser scaup and a scaup-like hybrid. It made nailing the id nigh on impossible ... seeing what looked like lesser scaup on one visit only to see the hybrid the next time! As soon as it was established that there were two birds the id was quickly made.  Already much has been said about the chance of a lesser scaup AND a [lesser] scaup-type hybrid being on the same, smallish, stretch of water and the general circumstances of the find.

The first photo is of the 2004 Jubilee River hybrid. The last one is a collage showing the affinis with the hybrid present at the site

Previous blog page        all photos copyright

Go back to the home page Go to the BLOG index page