24/06/2017 Orrell Water Park, Wigan

Ruddy Shelduck: After a quick trip to see the local Cattle Egret at Lightshaw Flash and bumping in to Steve Burke I headed across to the other side of Wigan to snap some pictures of some fence hoppers!
The unringed individual was picked up on the 22nd of June as posted on MBF, and at the time it was unclear if the bird had a ring or not. However this still isn't solid evidence of a true wild bird.
Some Ruddy Shelducks are obvious escapes as their behavioural evidence would suggest, for example being tame and occurring in unlikely environments such as town parks, ornamental lakes and even village ponds and associating with Mallards and Canada Geese. All of which this bird was exhibiting.
Ruddy shelduck have a long history of occurring in Great Britain but are mainly described as escaped from captivity, although some old records, up to 1946, are officially treated as wild vagrants from their native range.
There are sometimes small influxes from non-native populations on the near continent of which a few pairs have recently bred in Norfolk.
However despite this bird having no rings on its legs I feel its still too tame to be a true wild vagrant.
Still a lovely bird to see!

Mandarin Duck: Amongst the local mallards funky looking hybrid ducks Orrell Water Park had more fence hoppers on offer, a female Mandarin was happily loafing about with the resident ducks.
It's a funny old place Orrell, full of scally lads fishing and smoking cannabis, while children on bikes and dog walkers use the facility, all giving me some odd looks while I crouched down and took pictures of some ducks!