Northern Pochard (Aythya ferina)

The Northern Pochard is an iconic species of the North of England, and is on my list of favourite birds

Most Northern birdwatchers of my generation are likely to have spent many hours birding at sites such as Chorlton Water Park (near Manchester), Woolston Eyes (Cheshire) and Rostherne Mere (near Knutsford in Cheshire) watching huge flocks of Northern Pochard, searching for rare visitors such as Ferruginous Duck, Ring-necked Duck, Red-crested Pochard and Greater Scaup

The Salford Docklands were one of the main feeding sites for huge flocks of Northern Pochard with a high count of 2500 birds during January 1997

Academics and students from Manchester University recorded at this site in great scientific detail and produced a paper on the subject

The Northern Pochard UK wintering population has declined significantly during the 21st century, but 100-200 birds are still present in the winter in Greater Manchester with Chorlton Water Park still THE site

The small pools and lakes of Altrincham have a small population, with one or two pairs breeding in some years on King George V Pool and Stamford Park Lake

The Southern Pochard is not on the official British List, but a female on Medmerry in Sussex during the winter of 2014/15 created some interest and Aythya watchers should be aware of this potential vagrant species

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