RUDDY SHELDUCK Tadorna ferruginea

Largely an eastern equivalent of Common Shelduck, but sympatric in many regions of Asia. This species also has several non-migratory populations in North-west Africa and Ethiopia, plus introduced/feral birds in much of Europe. The Ethiopian population is tiny and critically endangered, whereas other African populations are in decline. The main introduced population, originally in Switzerland but having spread to Southern Germany, is being controlled, but feral birds occur all over (the right-hand bird was taken in Madeira). This means of course that birds will probably never be accepted on to category A in the UK, but many suspect that small flocks seen fairly often are irruptive birds from the core Asian population. Other shots were taken in Kazakhstan.

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