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The Ruddy Shelduck is a distinctive species, 58–70 cm long with a 110–135 cm wingspan. It has orange-brown body plumage and a paler head. The wings are white with black flight feathers. It swims well, and in flight looks heavy, more like a goose than a duck. The sexes of this striking species are similar, but the male has a black ring at the bottom of the neck in the breeding season summer, and the female often has a white face patch. The call is a loud wild honking.
There are very small resident populations of this species in north west Africa and Ethiopia, but the main breeding area of this species is from south east Europe across central Asia to Southeast Asia. These birds are mostly migratory, wintering in the Indian Subcontinent.
I spotted a lot of these birds in Cahoi lake beside the town of Weining. I was in a canoe and these birds would fly away whenever we got close. I also spotted the rare Black-necked Crane here.