Encounters with wigeon

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An oil pastel sketch of a male wigeon out on a flooded salt marsh.

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This rather engaging duck with its distinctive whistling call is a winter visitor here, usually from October through to March.

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From the front they are enchantingly round and cartoonish, as if freshly dunked up to their midriff in a bucket of whitewash and with the male sporting a rather fetching yellow “mohican” forehead.

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A pair of wigeon snooze in the depths of Chapel Pill at low tide – watercolour and oil pastel sketch.

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These wigeon suddenly flew out of the late October shadows into the sunlit, sienna grasses above Chapel Pill.  It seems their hasty departure was as much a surprise to this Canada Goose as it was to me . . .

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. . . and as I watched a roe buck at the water’s edge in November a small company of wigeon startled us both.

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Their white bellies are a great help in identifying them in flight, as are the male’s white wing bars (top left).

Visit the RSPB website to hear the whistling call of the wigeon www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/w/wigeon/index.aspx

. . . perhaps the collective noun for wigeon should be a “whistle” of wigeon, but a “raft”, “trip” or “company” are usual.

 

 

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