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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Pochard



Awaiting image for this species




(Common Pochard, Pocard, Poachard, Poker, Dun Bird)

Aythya ferina

Gaelic. Lach-mhàsach, lach-dhearg-cheannach
  • Pochard
  • Aythya americana
  • Gaelic: Lach-mhàsach, lach-dhearg-cheannach
    UK: Migrant/Resident Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor
  • UK: AMBER LIST. 472 pairs breeding. 85,500 birds wintering RSPB
  • WI: Uncommon winter visitor (low numbers). May have bred in the Uists
  • Breeding: 1 brood. 8-10 eggs. Lakes, marshes at least 1m deep. Europe, Asia.
  • Winter: Migratory. Large numbers leave Russia & Scandinavia & winter forming large flocks in the UK. Some UK breeding birds go S+W of Europe. Other birds go South of their breeding sites to Africa, Asia
  • Habitat: Lakes, slow rivers, gravel pits. (migration also estuaries).
  • Distinctive triangular head shape. Stocky diving duck. Adult male bill long & dark (& has grey band). Rusty-red head & neck. Black breast & tail. Pale-grey back. Red eyes. Adult female brown head & body, darker head with blotched cheeks & a narrower grey bill-band than male). Flight, both show pale-grey wing-stripe
  • Diet: Feeds mostly by diving, some dabbling. Aquatic plants, seeds, molluscs - snails, aquatic insects, small fish, small mammals. Often feeds at night
  • Maximum recorded age 22yrs
  • Listen to a Pochard (RSPB site)
  • Similar birds: Redhead (VERY rare Almost identical but yellow eyes not red).


Pochard in the Western Isles

Uncommon winter visitor (low numbers)
May have bred in the Uists
Source: Outer Hebrides Bird Report (2001)

Just before spring in Lewis the big loch at Achmore is often a winter home to a large flock of Pochard, and sometimes birds rest at Loch Stiapabhat in Ness when on migration.

On the chart below the darker the shade of blue the more abundant the bird is during a month or the more likely you are to see it.













(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)



Male or female ducks and their collective nouns

Some people use the word duck only for an adult female and drake for an adult male whilst others say hen and drake.

Waterfowl collective nouns (From WIKI):
waterfowl (on water) A raft
waterfowl A bunch of waterfowl
waterfowl (less than 30) A knob
ducks, swimming A paddling of ducks
waterfowl A plump
ducks, idle in water A raft of ducks
ducks, diving A dopping of ducks
ducks, on ground A badelynge of ducks
ducks, flying A flight, plump, or team of ducks
ducks A brace, bunch, flock, skein, sord, string, brace, flush



Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section

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