What is this duck- seen on a canal in Cheshire yesterday

We saw this duck on its own on the canal in Cheshire yesterday- - well away from the normal mallards- and was constantly diving under the water and swimming some length each time before re-surfacing. I thought initially it was a male tufted duck from the colouring but on closer inspection(as best as I could!) it had no had tuft and the beak was considerably longer than a tufted duck - any ideas please!

  • that bill looks a bit like a shoveler but the plumage is not right. Hopefully a better eye than mine will be able to help

    Cin J

  • As Germain says, it looks like a Shoveler - the white front (breast) and dark head and bill all support this but again, it's not easy trying to see the plumage exactly.

    As it was on a canal then the bird - unlike the mallard - won't be as used to human interest so would definitely keep its distance and this again would back up Germain's Shoveler id.
  • You said it was constantly diving under water. IMO, it doesn't look like a shoveler, and doesn't sound like one either.

    The shape is more mallard, but again, it doesn't sound like one. The only diving duck with front end colouring like the bird in the photo is goosander. The bill looks wrong for that and so does the back end.
  • Sorry I misread what Robbo has pointed out - I was thinking it was dabbing and then swimming a little bit, my mistake.

    If it indeed was diving and staying under water for a time then it can't be a Shoveler - unless it's found a food source at the bottom, which seems unlikely.

    So yes, Goosander is a good shout, but it doesn't look like one.

    It's the behaviour of Cormorants too, but again, it doesn't look like one.
  • Do you think it could be a male Goldeneye Robbo?

    The second photo, which I think is a crop of the first, does that show a slight white cheek patch?
  • If it looks like a tufted duck, but without the tuft, perhaps a scaup? Not sure if the white I’m seeing is the side or front.
  • I ruled out Tufted and Scaup solely based on the position of the white which seems to be at the front of the bird.

    But they could all be artefacts due to the poor image quality and the digital distortion,
  • Hi

    I'm thinking a hybrid manky duck- it's almost got a shelduck vibe as well

    For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides,  binoculars, scopes, tripods,  etc - put 'Birding Tips'   into the search box

  • I agree it looks like a mallard. Description doesn't match though. Strange.