Bird of the Month – Ruddy Shelduck

Ruddy shelduck are occasional visititors to our area but are generally rare coastal birds in the UK. Some, if not all, are descended from escapees from wildfowl collections. In central and east Asia Buddhist communities regard them as sacred because their ruddy (red) plumage matches the monks’ robes.. The male has a thin dark ring separating the paler head from the main body plumage,

A similar bird is the Cape Ruddy Shelduck which originates from South Africa as the name suggests. I have seen one this year at ANR but this example is from June 2019 also at ANR. This is a male which has a grey head while the female (which I have not seen) has an additional white patch around the eye.

The common shelduck is more strongly marked. The last image is of a juvenile.

My second article just published in the December edition of the Beeston Local News. Totally co-incidentally I had good views of a pied wagtail in Beeston Square this morning.

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