This post is dedicated to all the hard work that the staff at WWT achieve with the many projects that they undertake, not only are they preserving a wetland that is so important to a lot of wild animals here in the UK but they are also actively involved in breeding programs to endangered spices around the world.
The following images are a small sample of the Wildfowl that can be found within the many pools and ponds at Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Martin Mere, Lancashire UK.
The Chilean or Brown pintail is one of three subspecies of the yellow-billed pintail, and by far the most numerous and widespread. It is found throughout much of South America from extreme southern Colombia southwards to Tierra del Fuego, as well as in the Falkland Islands.
The red-crested pochard (Netta rufina) is a large diving duck. The scientific name is derived from Greek Netta "duck", and Latin rufina, "golden-red" (from rufus, "ruddy").
Its breeding habitat is lowland marshes and lakes in southern Europe and Central Asia, wintering in the Indian Subcontinent and Africa. It is somewhat migratory, and northern birds winter further south into north Africa.
The subspecies is found on lakes in the Andes of South America, ranging at altitudes of 2,000-4,300 m above sea level from the Huánuco Region of central Peru southwards through the mountains of Bolivia to Talca Province in central Chile and Mendoza Province in northern Argentina.
The chestnut teal is darker and a slightly bigger bird than the grey teal. The male has a distinctive green coloured head and mottled brown body. The female has a brown head and mottled brown body. The female is almost identical in appearance to the grey teal. The female chestnut teal has a loud penetrating "laughing" quack repeated rapidly nine times or more.
Chestnut teals form monogamous pairs that stay together outside the breeding season, defend the nest site and look after the young when hatched. Nests are usually located over water, in a down-lined tree hollow about 6–10 m high. Sometimes nests are placed on the ground, among clumps of grass near water. The young hatch and are ready to swim and walk within a day.
The New Zealand scaup (Aythya novaeseelandiae) commonly known as a black teal, is a diving duck species of the genus Aythya. It is endemic to New Zealand. In Māori it is commonly known as papango, also matapouri, titiporangi and raipo.
Hooded mergansers are the second smallest species of merganser, with only the smew of Europe and Asia being smaller, and it also is the only merganser whose native habitat is restricted to North America.
The Hawaiian Goose or Nene represents a conservation success story, during the 1800’s there were over 25’000 Nenes on Hawaii but after the introduction of dogs, cats, rats and mongooses their population crashed to about 50 birds, in the 1940’s these Geese were obtained by WWT and bred so successfully that 200 have been returned from England to the Hawaiian Islands.
The swan goose (Anser cygnoides) is a large goose with a natural breeding range in inland Mongolia, northernmost China, and southeastern Russia. It is migratory and winters mainly in central and eastern China. Vagrant birds are encountered in Japan and Korea (where it used to winter in numbers when it was more common), and more rarely in Kazakhstan, Laos, coastal Siberia, Taiwan, Thailand and Uzbekistan.
Below are a couple of portrait shots of this beautiful bird.
The marbled duck, or marbled teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris) is a threatened, medium-sized species of duck from southern Europe, northern Africa, and western and central Asia. The scientific name, Marmaronetta angustirostris, comes from the Greek marmaros, marbled and netta, a duck, and Latin angustus, narrow or small and -rostris billed.
Mandarin ducks are beautiful birds to photograph mainly due to their amazing colour, although not native to this country I personally think they are a sight to behold, I’ve never seen quite so many of these ducks as I have over the past couple of days, I traveled over to the Wirral and located a pair in a stream at a local reserve and then the following day whilst in North Wales I spotted another on a fast flowing river.
I decided that a visit to Martin Mere in Lancashire was long overdue, the following shot of this Mandarin duck was taken at Martin Mere.