This small duck is one of our less common visitors, as it prefers deeper waters. The male is chestnut colour, with a black head. The female is a dull, mottled grey. In the breeding season the male’s bill is bright blue; it changes to a slaty grey when not breeding. They float low in the water when swimming and are very rarely seen flying; if disturbed they prefer to dive. The photo below shows their relatively compact size.
Drawings kindly provided by Pam. Photography and text by David Free. Audio clips provided by David Secomb.