More photos taken at Les Oiseaux du Marias Poitevin - Parc Ornithologique. As always, if my ID is incorrect please let me know and I will make changes to the post.
Eurasian coot (Fulica atra). The coot feeds on pondweeds and invertebrates. Unlike ducks, coots bring their food to the surface before eating it. The nest, a mound of dead reeds, is usually built amongst emergent vegetation. From mid-March, between 6 and 9 speckled eggs are laid. The eggs are incubated by both parents for up to 24 days. The chicks leave the nest a few days after hatching and reach independence at around 8 weeks of age. Two broods are produced in a year, but occasionally a third brood may occur.
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina). Food is plants and seeds, snails, small fish and insects. Typically a diving duck, diving and swimming underwater for food, but they will also up-end and feed with just their head under the water. The nest of a Common Pochard is a shallow depression in thick vegetation, usually within 20-30 feet of a lake or river shoreline. Females incubate the eggs and tend to the young after hatching, but the young must find their own food.
Common shelduck (Tadorna tadorna). I commented on another blog recently that I would have to travel North to see Shelduck having forgotten that I had seen them on the West coast some time back!
It frequents estuaries and mudflats, shores of salt and brackish water lakes, and usually occurs only in salt water, mainly in Europe. But it also needs fresh water for drinking. It feeds on aquatic invertebrates such as molluscs, insects and crustaceans. It forages in shallow water by upending and head-dipping. Most pairs persist from year to year. They move to their territorial feeding areas by late March and regularly visit potential nest-sites, usually, several nests can be close together. They move after the chicks have hatched, and the chicks of a colony often form crèches where some adults guard them. They fledge about 45-50 days after hatching and are independent as soon as they can fly. Females are sexually mature at 2 years, and males at 4-5 years. The adults moult after the breeding season and cannot fly for 25-30 days.
Golden Eye out of breeding plumage perhaps, confirmation required please.
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus). Native to Africa, Egyptian Geese were introduced into Europe as decorative additions to wildfowl collections, both private and in urban parks, and also as zoo animals. On 2 August 2017 the Egyptian Goose was added to the list of Invasive Alien Species of European Union concern.
Gadwall (Mareca strepera). This bird forages mainly while swimming by taking items from the surface, or by dabbling with head submerged, sometimes by up-ending, occasionally by diving. Feeds mainly on aquatic plants. The nest (built by the female) is in a shallow depression, built of grasses, weeds, lined with down. Generally 8-11 white eggs. 2 or more females sometimes lay in the same nest. Incubation is by female only, 24-27 days. The young leave the nest shortly after hatching, and the female leads the young to water where they find their own food; often seen on more open water than young of other dabbling ducks. Young are capable of flight 48-59 days after hatching.
Glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus). It feeds mainly on insects like grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, locusts and small reptiles, frogs and fish. Usually feeds in small flocks and probes bill into the mud and shallow water. The nest is a compact platform of twigs or reeds lined with leaves. 3-4 eggs are laid and incubation is 20-23 days. This is a migratory species, with most European birds wintering in Africa.
Eurasian Goosander (Mergus merganser). They are a group of fish-eating ducks with long, narrow, serrated beaks that are ideally adapted for grasping slippery prey but it will also take insects, molluscs, crustaceans, worms, amphibians, and even small mammals and birds. Somewhat unusually for a duck, it nests in cavities in trees, either in natural hollows or in holes made by woodpeckers. If suitable tree holes are not available, this species will also use artificial nest boxes, cliff ledges, rock crevices, hollow logs, holes among tree roots, or even old buildings. The nest cavity may be lined with down from the female’s breast, she lays between 6 and 17 creamy-white eggs which are incubated by the female for 28 to 35 days....
The young are well developed at hatching and leave the nest hole at just one or two days old. They jump to the ground from the nest and are led to water by the female. Although the female care for the chicks for several weeks, the chicks catch their own food, initially eating aquatic insects before starting to eat fish from about 12 days old. The female abandons the young before they become capable of flight at about 60 to 75 days old.
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