Sunday, December 22, 2013

São Jacinto ducks: a Lesser Scaup and more… (December 19 – 21)

Back from three days of duck related work at the São Jacinto reserve (Portugal). Ducks were abundant and our catches were very reasonable and diverse; enough to keep us very busy. Most remarkable catch was this Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis, a North American species, certainly not very common in Portugal.  

Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis male

Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula female

Male Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis. More photos will appear on the pt-duck website in the near future (

Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula female

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis; we always catch at least one.

Remember this bird? It’s an adult Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus with poorly developed primaries in its wings. We caught this particular individual earlier on November 26, 2012, while it was still in its first year (  It appears that flying is not a necessity for a Moorhen...

The ponds were packed with ducks.

Chiffchaffs Phylloscopus collybita were extremely abundant during our stay. It's a common wintering bird in Portugal.

During observations there’s always this panic moment, usually involving a Goshawk...

After a failed attempt to grab a Wigeon this Goshawk decided to join me in the observations for a while.

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