Friend called me to say he had a small brown duck on his pond with young. went up for a look. The pond is in the middle of a field. No other water birds present. resembled a ferruginous, no white (visible) on the body at the tail end. Deep chestnut colours in the bright sun. Eye pale yellow. Young appeared black.
Any ideas X breed?
Ferruginous male has white eyes, hence the old name of White-eyed Pochard; female has brownish eyes and always shows white under-tail coverts, also has distinctive high sloping crown and shows small black nail at bill-tip, unlike female Tufted which also has yellow eyes. Ferruginous duckling is grey-brown above with yellow face and under-parts; Tufted duckling is mostly blackish above and dark grey-brown below.
So not a Ferruginous female with her brood; reads more like Tufted, which can look chestnut-brown in summer plumage, or maybe a female Tufted/Pochard hybrid which is not that uncommon.