An occasional winter visitor to the shores of Dorset
Whilst many duck species are winter visitors to Dorset the garganey (Anas querquedula) seems to buck the trend! Never a common species here it seems to be reported only during the 'summer' months from March to September with the emphasis on the first three of those months. The garganey spends the winter months in primarily in tropical Africa and returns to central Europe and parts of eastern England to breed and this explains in winter absence and the surge in early spring st the start to move north to breed. Some non-breeding birds stay around the south of England all summer.
The garganey is a small duck, certainly smaller than a mallard. It is attractively marked in shades of brown and grey and the male has a distinctive white streak above the ye and down towards its neck.
Whilst breeding on freshwater habitat it is quite comfortable on coastal salt water sites almost anywhere outside of that time and can be seen on saline lagoons and in sheltered estuaries as well as large lakes and reservoirs. They are often reported form the swannery at Abbotsbury, on the fresh water at Radipole and Longham Lakes and on the saline Brownsea lagoon and Stanpit Marsh.
Hardly a rare species but far from common, the garganey is probably best described as scarce.
|Scientific Name||Anas querquedula|
|Species Group||Birds Ducks|
A small, compact duck in the spring or summer months
|Additional Identification Notes|