Archive for January 6, 2015

A Male Harlequin duck
Photo by Peggy Cadigan (

The news that a male Harlequin duck had been seen on the River Don near Aberdeen in NE Scotland would have sent many birders flocking to the site. This visitor from Iceland is both rare in the UK, this being only the sixteenth ever record and attractive to see. It is a bit of a shame that it is a first winter male and therefore does not display the brilliant markings seen on the photo of a full adult male and in fact more closely resembles the plumage of a female. nether the less quite a find!

A Female Harlequin Duck
Photo by Maggie Smith (

Harlequins breed on Arctic rivers and move down to the Arctic coast in winter. The nearest breeding colony to the UK is in Iceland.