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WHITLINGHAM: Local rarity - Ferruginous Duck

21st January 2012

Firstly many thanks to those who sent messages regarding the Ferruginous Duck.  As planned I got to Whitlingham on Saturday morning and soon got onto the bird, which was asleep on the edge of the main island on the Great Broad.  After a showery wait the Ferruginous Duck eventually took to the water, and at one point took off after something spooked the jittery Teal.  It landed slightly closer, and allowed views for another 15 minutes or so before flying off, this time away from the bay.

main points noted were:
  • Small black nail to the bill
  • Pale sub-terminal area before the nail
  • Main area of the bill grey (bluey grey in some lights)
  • Mahogany coloured head
  • Head shape appeared slightly squarer than previous Fudge Ducks I've seen
  • Pale eye
  • Dark brown back
  • Paler brown sides
  • White wingbar noticeable when preening and in flight
  • White vent
  • Pale belly patch, some brown flecking visible in flight
  • Slightly smaller than nearby Tufted Ducks
  • No attachment to particular species (spent all of the time on its own)

Also around were 250+ Teal, the Wigeon x Gadwall hybrid, the apparent female Pochard x Tufted Duck hybrid and a Snipe.

[Edit] If anyone has any photographs of this bird then I would be very interested to see them! I can be contacted via the email address on the right hand side of the blog. Thanks.


  1. Hello James,

    thanks for the blog. We stopped off at Whitlingham for an hour on Sunday afternoon and were lucky enough to see the ferrug. duck. We weren't too sure so very pleased to find your blog and some confirmation!

    Best wishes,

    Paul & Anna (Bungay)

  2. Hi guys, thanks for your comment. You got there just in time, it appears to have departed Sunday night as there haven't been any sightings yesterday or today.

    All the best,