Sunday, 15 March 2015

Ring-necked Duck (Fuligule à collier)

DesJardins Canal
Dundas, ON
14 March 2015

     Today was the annual meeting of the Ontario Eastern Bluebird Society, always an enjoyable event. The lunchtime break is about an hour and a half, ample time to grab a quick bite to eat and head out to do a little birding before the sessions resume.
     My good friend Ross Dickson was present at the meeting this year and so we set off together to see what we could find.
     The DesJardins Canal is not a grand stretch of water, but I have never been disappointed there. Today was no exception and there was a wide variety of waterfowl present. These handsome male Ring-necked Ducks Aythya collaris caught our eye almost right away.

     Ring-necked Ducks are surely one of the most misnamed species of all. No one except a bird bander with a bird in the hand ever sees the ring! 
     There was very little ice left on the canal and small islands provided a kind of oasis for a mixture of species.
      This female Common Merganser Mergus merganser was happy to loaf for a while.

     At the other end of the island the following scene was observed.

     Some of the Trumpeter Swans get a little wanderlust at this time of year. The last time I saw this individual was on 09 October 2014 at LaSalle Park in Burlington.

     Pretty soon all the swans will be flying north to their breeding grounds, but many other species are arriving almost daily to take their place. It's a great time of year to be out and about with a pair of binoculars!


  1. Wow ! How nice to see these beautiful birds !
    Wonderful pictures !
    Have a nice Sunday !

  2. Ring-necked Ducks are superb, great ducks.

  3. David, your photos are gorgeous! I love ducks and geese, and, living in Montreal, I get to see many of them but I don't recall having seen any like in your first photo. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. They look a bit like our tufted ducks:-) The Goosander is a beautiful water bird and I see a beautiful woman merganser with you. The swan and goose are beautiful spotted again:-)

  5. Your Ring-necked Ducks are in fine condition David. As you suggest a beginner birder looking for a duck with a ringed neck might well be puzzled by this one.The male you picture would be better called Ring-billed Duck?

    As to Purple Sandpipers here in the UK, they are very localised and as you suggest good numbers can be found along rocky and pebbly shores, Wales and parts of Scotland for instance. Our shores around here are mostly flat and sandy but where there and more rocky stretches of shore there may be one or two Purple Sandpipers mixed in with Turnstones, the latter being able to exploit sandy shores more than the purps.

    It's while since I visited Wales and then on the way to Bardsey Island, or else camping on the island of Anglesey and visiting South Stack etc.

  6. Your post got me looking into why Ring-necked Duck might be so named, David, and I found that the breeding males have an"Indistinct purplish-brown neck-collar (often hidden)". Like Phil, I've always considered that 'Ring-billed' might be a more appropriate epithet.

    A nice selction of birds and images for a lunch break!

    Best wishes to you both - - - - - Richard


  7. Piękne kaczki, uwielbiam takie ciekawe gatunki :-))))