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This is a very attractive species and one that often causes some consternation amongst birdwatchers on the topic of whether the birds they see are 'wild' ones, when seen on wetlands in Britain. Such pretty species often attract the slightly derogatory comment 'plastics' from bird watchers - meaning 'not real wild birds' – i.e. escaped from collections or derived from feral breeding stock.
One of the 'tests' that is sometimes applied by birdwatchers for how ‘wild’ a slightly exotic duck is this, ‘how tame is it?’. For example, ‘it was coming to bread in the local park!’, therefore... "must be an escape". Where is this going? I recall in the summer of 2011 watching a recently hatched family party of red-crested pochard ducklings being taken by their mother into a harbour on Lake Garda, northern Italy, where the species breeds as a wild bird. Both she and the ducklings were happily munching anything that the locals and visitors threw at them. Not everything is as it seems. But they are always darn good looking birds.
Thanks Milvus. These comments make iSpot far more interesting.
Jeff, it would always be interesting to have some Description, ID or Location Notes. For those of us who do not know the location, these birds (and the ones in your other recent posts) could be caged, or at least part of someone's collection.
Are these free-to-fly, might they breed there?
This is the first time I have seen these birds and they were near the visitor centre of Attenborough Nature Reserve. This is a Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust run centre and I doubt that they have been artificially introduced there although of course they may have been released elsewhere and found their way to this location.
I hadn't realised it was the Attenborough Reserve.
Here's a weblink for anyone else wondering.
Lat/Lng: 52.9001, -1.2354
OS grid ref: SK515339