I took out my new camera yesterday morning and on my way back from dropping my son off at the train station, I stopped in Kita Senri Park. This is a large green area near our home and it has a small artificial lake. There are always ducks on the water, so with my 150mm lens, I snapped a few photos. A guy was throwing bread and the ducks and other birds came in to make it easy to get some great photos. You will be seeing quite a bit of posts on new birds I identify.
The first one is the Tufted Duck (Aythya flagella) shown above. The Tufted Duck, as you can see, is named after the tuft of feathers on its head. They have a huge range, breeding in the northern portion of the Eurasian land mass, from Iceland to Japan. They are found all throughout Japan, but they do not breed here, most likely migrating to eastern Russia in the summer. They are quite common and do well around human habitation and their favorite meal is freshwater mollusks.
There was only one Tufted Duck in the mix of other ducks. It was grooming itself and showed quite a bit of flexibility in getting at it belly feathers with its beak. The striking color contrasts make the Tufted Duck very distinctive. I’ll keep checking to see if they stay for the spring and summer.