Tuesday 1 March 2016

Ducking and diving 28th February 2016

A long weekend in Edinburgh visiting our daughter fortuitously coincided with the temporary residence of a male Ring Necked Duck on a small lochan by Pitlochry Golf Club in Perthshire.

It is only a ninety minute drive from Edinburgh so on a brilliant, sunny but cold Saturday we made the drive north across the now re-opened Forth Bridge to Pitlochry combining a look at the duck with a family outing to the beautiful countryside of Perthshire and a wander around Pitlochry village  culminating in a local teashop for coffee and cake.

Talking to the lady in the teashop she told me the duck has made the local news and everyone knows about it. She asked how did everyone learn about it so quickly and I showed her my RBA App on my I-phone and she was amazed.

I would not make the effort for a female but a male Ring necked Duck is well  worth seeing at anytime  as their plumage is a pleasing combination of black, grey and white and their bill is particularly attractively patterned. The ring around their neck from whence comes the name is nigh on invisible unless you are very close. The shape of their head is also remarkable being almost conical and gives it a distinctive profile when compared to the surrounding male Tufted Ducks and of course there is no crest.

The duck today was resplendent in its winter finery but most of the lake was frozen over so it was on the far side but still was reasonably close. It was consorting with about half a dozen Tufted Ducks who showed no animosity towards it and they all just floated about on an area  of sunlit water that remained ice free.

No one else was around so I sat on a bench, took some photos and spent thirty of so pleasant minutes watching the duck before rejoining my family.

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