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Often seen in the company of tufted ducks in fresh water locations and more common in winter.


Photograph by: 
Peter Orchard

Pochard: playing it cool

Post date: Wednesday, 23 September, 2015 - 00:00

My first reaction to this photograph was that it was not a good enough to grace the Internet; then, on reflection, I thought that as my motives are not to display exceptional photographs (because I do not take exceptional photographs) but to show nature as we tend to see it then is a fairly typical view of a pochard (Aythya ferina)!

Pochard are related to the tufted duck and are often seen in the company of them, they both favour fresh water locations. In general, however, while the 'tuftie' is an active duck, always going somewhere, doing something, saying something, the pochard is much more laid back. In fact, they seem to spend most of the time drifting around, often with their head under their wing like this one.

Not as common as the tuftie, the pochard has unmistakable grey flanks and an attractively coloured maroon neck and head; rusty coloured perhaps hence ferina - 'of iron'. When the head comes out from under the wing it is often hunched up with little trace of the neck and the head has a rather pointed appearance!

So, my vote for the most 'chilled out' duck goes to the pochard!


The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Common Name Pochard
Scientific Name Aythya ferina
Status Local
Interest Level
Species Family Ducks
  • 01 - January
  • 02 - February
  • 03 - March
  • 10 - October
  • 11 - November
  • 12 - December
Preferred Environment
  • Lakes and ponds
  • Rivers
Look for Ducks with a slightly triangular head and no neck!
Additional Identification Notes
  • Pochard tend to prefer fresh water locations and but can be found near the mouths of rivers
  • They seem to spend most of their time asleep just drifting around 
  • The reddish coloured head and grey flanks are diagnostic and from a distance they can appear to had a distinctly triangular head and no neck!