This one makes me slightly uneasy. Last weekend at Loch Spynie in Morayshire we noted a group of Tufted Ducks. A drake Scaup was with them and a Canada Goose loitered with a couple of Swans. However one female Tufty drew attention – it had a vivid red bill. No it didn’t – what was going on.
Good scope views showed it to have a bill plate fitted, something I had heard of but never seen. Investigations found out that this practice is frequent on the continent but does not take place under the UK ringing scheme.
Four projects put nasal plates on Tufted Ducks, none are British, but red plates indicate Portugal as the origin.
From the website here is a map of nasal plated Tufties (blue dots). The red dots are Pochard recoveries.