My friend Tim S. sent me this excellent photo of the male smew (Mergellus albellus) that I have not been able to capture a decent picture. The “panda” or “cracked ice” distinctive look of the drake (male duck) has been a blast of white in the local kita senri pond. The two males tend to stay in the center of the pond and my lense does not reach. Thanks Tim for allowing me to post the photo on my blog! I was watching them a bit on Saturday morning and they dive quite a bit, much like the cormorants. The males also seemed to follow/harass a “harem” of females.
The Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) was competing with (and losing) Mandarin ducks for bread thrown by birders at the senri chuo park pond. The populations of common pochard are decreasing worldwide and Japan, but according to IUCN, but researchers are not sure why and to what extent. Besides senri chuo, I saw them also in a pond in the Minoh Hills quasi national park.
I photographed a pair of mature Common Moorhens (Gallinula chloropus) in a small pond in Senri Chuo. Earlier this winter I spotted an immature. I love their second name, “the Swamp Chicken”! They are related to another common species, the Eurasian Coot that I have seen in both Serbia and Japan.
I am wrapping up my birding weekend post with another photo of the stunning Mandarin (Aix galericulata).