Hooded Merganser - Christchurch Park, Ipswich

Lovely to see this just now, a stone's throw from where I live!

Someone there said it had been appearing regularly for a couple of months, and he thought it was an escapee.

It was after 4pm and the light was going, but I fiddled with the aperture settings and managed one reasonable shot:

Karen B Suffolk
  • I've only seen them in the local WWT spot but they are lovely birds. I understand they don't migrate long distances so it is extremely unlikely to be a vagrant all the way from Canada/US and much more likely to be an escapee


    Nige   Flickr

  • Such a lovely looking duck Karen, I'd be cross if I lost something as special as that ... do you have any wildlife parks nearby?


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Every day is a school day, and a hooded merganser is definitely a new one for me, and a lovely looking bird as well. Well captured Karen.


    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • Thanks Nigel, Wendy and Mike

    I had never heard of a Hooded Merganser before - but a birdwatcher friend texted me to let me know it was there, so off I scooted - the pond is five minutes' walk away, so I was lucky!

    I don't know of any wildlife parks in the local area. The only one I know of is Penshurst, which is many miles away. It could be from a private collection - somewhere with a large pond, perhaps. Who knows? Still, he seems to be happy in the large Wilderness Pond here, quite happily swimming round with the mallards. There are about a dozen mandarin ducks on this pond, too, so he's in good company in terms of looking dashing and impeccable!! 

    Karen B Suffolk
  • What a beauty Karen.... and mandarins too?? Would love to see a male in full plumage (only ever seen a couple of females)
  • A very striking looking bird, Karen. There was a very long staying one at Radipole Lake in Dorset. That one was believed to be an escape so it's likely that yours is too. I haven't heard whether the Radipole one is still around or has passed away.



    My Flickr Photostream 

  • In reply to PimperneBloke:

     yes, he is, isn't he...

    We are so lucky with our park here - it's very ancient, and so is the pond - medieval, I believe, and connected with the Priory which it was the original fishpond for.

    Here is a slightly blurry photo I took yesterday of one of the mandarins:

    Karen B Suffolk
  • In reply to Karen B Suffolk:

    That's gorgeous.... Me and Mrs PB are on our way lol
  • In reply to PimperneBloke:

    I'd recommend it! There's a lot of history in the town, if you ignore the 1970s desecration bits... and a large number of lovely parks. It's apparently got a reputation for wildlife (eg hedgehogs) compared with other towns of a similar size due to the number of historic green spaces...
    Karen B Suffolk
  • Although almost certainly an escapee from a park or collection the Merganser is a beautiful bird to see,thanks for posting


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can