The first bird I lamped was this male Shoveler:
I wasn't sure of the age of the bird at first. As I picked the bird up, the bright iris and the seemingly rather uniform blue lesser/median coverts made me think he bird was going to be an adult male coming out of eclipse; but other features didn't fit with that. The tail, for example, shows 'notches' out of the feather tips, a first-year feature.
It's hard finding photos of Shoveler to compare with but both Baker and Pyle give some criteria that should allow us to age this bird as a first-year based on the wing.
The greater coverts seem to be key. They fit very well with Pyle's illustration for first-year (HY) male and show the dark spot at the distal tip of the inner web as mentioned in Baker.
I was a little bit confused by the secondaries: S3 should show a green gloss in adults but not in young birds. To me, this bird shows a green gloss on S3 — but it's certainly not as green or as glossy as S4. Perhaps that's what's meant.
The tertials are short and blunt; certainly not adult breeding-type. What would the tertials on an esclipe male look like, though? Baker says “Eclipse male tertials... shorter than adult [breeding] male but still retain white flare along distal half”. Presumably the white flare relates to “white flare along distal third of shaft, mainly on inner vane” as stated earlier in the paragraph. Well, I guess this bird doesn't show (much of) a white flare... at least not compared to this bird.
Other features, such as bill colour and overall colour of the plumage, also support the ageing as a first-year.
This was the first Shoveler to be ringed at Falsterbo since 1973.
Next up was something far less glamorous: a Canada Goose.
This was the first Canada Goose to be ringed at Falsterbo.
On my third pass across the mudflats, I caught sight of a duck that seemed to have its leg tangled in something. I went over to investigate and found an Aythya pottering about in some shallow (5–10 cm) water. The bird wasn't stuck; it was trying to get away from me... by attempting to dive under the water, hence the wildly flapping legs! I'd presumed the bird was going to be a Tufted Duck but, on getting closer, I realised it was in fact a first-year male Scaup.
The one and only Scaup to be ringed at Falsterbo prior to this one ended up being shot in Russia — lucky or unlucky, depending on how you look at it.
We finished the evening with an adult Black-headed Gull.
Not terribly exciting but, like the rest of the species ringed this evening, new for the year. The annual species total now stands at 127.