Karen Sutton, Crossness Nature Reserve Site Manager and Thames Water Biodiversity Team Leader is hoping Pochard ducklings will be amongst the new arrivals at the site this spring, after Richard Spink took an excellent photo of a pair of these birds mating here.
Pochard do not occur in great numbers at Crossness, but a male had been hanging around in the fenced area over the winter. According to the RSPB, Pochards (Athya ferina) are quite rare breeding birds in this country, with perhaps 350-630 pairs nesting pairs. They also tend to favour large water-bodies. It is an Amber listed species due to concerns about its overall numbers. They are most common in the UK during autumn and winter, when large numbers arrive from eastern Europe and Russia to avoid the bitterly cold weather there.