Saturday, 12 July 2014
Ruddy Shelduck at Slipton - Spring 2014.
Back in Mid March I learnt that a pair of Ruddy Shelduck were to be found on a flash in a sown crop field next to Slipton Church, Northants. The female is the one with paler cheeks.
Wild Ruddy Shelduck are rare visitors to the UK in Spring and late Summer, less than fifty annually so the immediate question was were these birds genuine wild birds or escapees from wildfowl collections ?.
On checking through my photographs neither bird was ringed .... positive point as birds in collections are normally ringed.
But this point alone would not stand up in court so I guess the answer is we will never know, there are however strong indications that several birds from the Dutch population of migrant birds are visiting the UK.
Some of the Dutch birds are being fitted with radio transmitters so maybe there will shortly be a greater understanding of the annual movements of these birds.
As far as I can tell they were present from 12th – 18th March 2014. At the time of posting this item a pair of these duck can be seen at Pitsford Reservoir.
All I can say is that these are cracking looking birds no matter where they come from all the way to a little village in Northamptonshire !