Canvasback - Aythya valisineria

On thursday afternoon 9th January 2003 Cock en Tineke Reijnders were leisurely looking at Common Pochards in the dunes of Castricum (Noord-Holland). Around 14:30 hours Cock noticed that one of Pochards was quite a-typical and thought it could be a Canvasback Aythya valisineria, a bird never observed in the Netherlands. They went home immediately, checked the books and warned all birders through the pager system and Dutch Birding Birdline. The birdf was very cooperative and was photographed and videoed for the next day. The bird didn't wear any rings, nor did he show any signs of captivity like damaged primaries or anomalous behaviour and was therefore considered a wild bird.

However, in January 2008, it became clear the bird was wearing what seems to be the remnant of a patagial tag. Was this the result of some yet (unknown) project from North America, or was it just some wildfowlkeeper who tagged this bird in a highly unusual manner?

(© Leo Boon from Haarlem, Noord-Holland)

(Canvasback showing patagial tag; © Teun Baarspul)

The bird stayed till 5 March and was seen by hundreds of birders. Initially, It was accepted as the first record for the Netherlands and the first for the European mainland and the 8th for Europe, with 6 records in the UK between 1996 and 2002 and 1 on Iceland in 1977(Dutch Birding 26 (3): 180-184, 2004; Dutch Birding 26 (6): 361, 2004). In 2010, however, the bird was removed from the Dutch List.

Do you want to go to the main-index, the 2003-index or the next new subspecies, the Atlas Chaffinch?