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vlagman

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We went on our usual Sunday drive last Sunday and had a walk along the Thames at Purley on Thames. We have seen many birds before - obviously the usual suspects i. e. swans, geese, etc - but I spotted one that I haven’t seen before. Any ideas what it is? It is unfortunately the best I could get. By the time I got my phone out to take the pics they were some distance away.

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Hawk_Eye said:

Winter water fowl? > I think...

No idea Hawk. I’m no real bird watcher but these just caught my eye. What I first noticed was the peculiar tip at the end of their wings. It looks like a little sail. At first I saw one and thought that it was a damaged wing or feathers.  I then noticed it on both wings and then the second one came along with identical wings. 

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26 minutes ago, vlagman said:

No idea Hawk. I’m no real bird watcher but these just caught my eye. What I first noticed was the peculiar tip at the end of their wings. It looks like a little sail. At first I saw one and thought that it was a damaged wing or feathers.  I then noticed it on both wings and then the second one came along with identical wings. 

I may be wrong, on second thought I went to go have a look...if they look more like this one then it is Mandarin Duck..

 

ea3870b39240e013d12a42dc0eedc322.jpg 

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Mmmm. Interesting. They’re not supposed to be from around here. They are actually from East Asia, more specific eastern China. The name says it all, I suppose. 

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And there we have it. 

“The species was once widespread in East Asia, but large-scale exports and the destruction of its forest habitat have reduced populations in eastern Russia and in China to below 1,000 pairs in each country; Japan, however, is thought to still hold some 5,000 pairs. The Asian populations are migratory, overwintering in lowland eastern China and southern Japan.[4]

Specimens frequently escape from collections, and in the 20th century a large feral population was established in Great Britain; more recently small numbers have bred in Ireland, concentrated in the parks of Dublin. There are now about 7,000 in Britain, and other populations on the European continent.”

So, the ones that we saw were actually descendants of the original lot from the 20th century. 

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8 minutes ago, vlagman said:

Mmmm. Interesting. They’re not supposed to be from around here. They are actually from East Asia, more specific eastern China. The name says it all, I suppose. 

People have pets and then release them into the wild.  I have read many stories of crocs - fish and even birds like parrots being "released" in the wild.. They may even have been "stowaways" and landed in the Thames..

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On 2/24/2018 at 11:38 AM, Hawk_Eye said:

I may be wrong, on second thought I went to go have a look...if they look more like this one then it is Mandarin Duck..

 

ea3870b39240e013d12a42dc0eedc322.jpg 

Spot on Hawk. They are actually for sale here in SA.

 

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