White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala) is a local and rare duck species that lives in deep pools and lakes in Central and South Spain, Morocco, Tunis and Turkey. It is a diving duck living shallow lakes. It is a resident to short range migratory species.
It’s presence in Ebro Delta has been a rarity until this 2011. From August 2011 there have been several White-headed Duck recorded in this delta. On Sunday December 4th we saw a female diving in the main lagoon in Ebro Delta, “l’Encanyissada”. It was diving mixed in a group of Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina) and Pochard (Aythya ferina). The bird was watched for more than one hour diving, sleeping and taking care of its plumage. From 28 November have been a group of six in this same lagoon.
Spanish & Moroccan population is about 1.000 birds (2008) with a great increase of birds in Spain from late 70s (22 birds wintering in 1977 and almost 2.400 in 2000) but downing again to about 600-800 individuals in 2008, all of them living in South and Central Spain wetlands such as Doñana National Park, Tablas de Daimiel and El Fondo Natural Reserve (Alicante).