Brief Excitement!

By Michael Ryan

Toward the middle of July, I was driving through the town of Basseterre, on the Bay Road, overlooking the Harbour. While driving through the College Street Ghut adjacent to where the sea meets the shore, I saw a large bird! What the heck was that!? So I reversed, parked, and walked to the little bridge.

A Duck! A mottled brown duck, with a white stripe below its neck, and white in its face, and orange legs. Nothing from memory rang a bell, and even more curious, was that the migratory season was well and truly over! We were in July and there should not be any ducks at this time of the year

Not being far from home I went for my camera and took a number of shots. Checking my birding guide nothing matched its description, so I assumed it was a hybrid of sorts. Just to be sure, I sent several pictures to the forum Whatbird where a variety of experts and experienced birders identify birds from information sent to them. I was really curious!

Back came the answer. A domesticated type Mallard likely crossed with some other duck specie! No rare bird unfortunately, but at least a bit of excitement during the dull month of July!