Rare visitor makes appearance on meres

Ring-necked Ducks in Shropshire

Ring-necked ducks are native to the United States and Canada and usually migrate to the north of Canada to breed during the summer. Occasionally, small flocks make appearances in Western Europe, having been blown off course during migration and those birds often settle with flocks of their European cousin; the tufted duck, though sightings of them here are extremely rare. Very similar to tufted ducks, these diving ducks are easily overlooked and it takes a keen and experienced eye to spot one amongst groups of their native cousins.

The ring-necked duck seen in Shropshire made his first appearance to excited members of Shropshire Ornithologiocal Society on April 27th, at Wood Lane Nature Reserve and was subsequently spotted on The Mere in Ellesmere. He has now settled on Whitemere and has been seen as recently as yesterday (7th May), but it is unsure how long he will choose to stay for. This is a species that has been spotted in north Shropshire before and the sightings highlight how important the Meres and Mosses are for waterfowl, providing ample habitat and food across a large area. Next time you visit Ellesmere, don't forget to keep an eye out on The Mere: you never know what exciting birds you might see!

 


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Did you know?

The area of Fenn's, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses combined is the third largest area of raised peat bog in Britain. On average, 1 hectare of peatland can store 10 times more carbon than 1 hectare of woodland


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