In Titchfield Haven harbour today among the mallard was a male mandarin duck with his ornate plumage and very distinctive long orange feathers on the side of the face, orange ‘sails’ on the back, and pale orange flanks. (The female is dull by comparison).
These ducks were introduced to the UK from China and have become established following escapes from captivity.
This was a 1st for me at the haven although I see them most winters in the New Forest on one of the ponds I visit. The mandarin duck nests in holes in trees, sometimes high up and a long way from the water.