Smew (Mergellus albellus)


Biking back from the train station this morning I noticed a pair of bright white ducks in the pond at Kita Senri park. Normally the winter ducks are gray, chestnut, etc., but the shock of white really was a contrast. I snapped a couple of photos, although the rain and poor light conditions do not do justice to the beauty of birds. They were a pair of Smew (Mergellus albellus) and a new winter duck for my identification list. They breed in northern Russia and Scandinavia and winter in the Baltic Sea, Caspian Sea, coastal China and Japan. I will try to go back tomorrow when the sun comes out to see if I can get a better photo and try to identify a female. In Japanese it is known as the mikoaisa.




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