Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Eider Down

 Whilst strolling around the Lake at JCB Rocester, we spotted this Eider duck.  It was on its own at the side of the lake, near the fishermen, at the edge of the boat slipway.  Now, I know that Eider ducks are a palaearctic marine species that seldom stray far from the sea.  They are also only seen south of Northumbria in the winter, so why is this one so far inland?
 The duck seemed in good health and I did wonder if it had been blown off course by the heavy winds of the last few days. I suspect it was moving south in the bad weather.  This is what the RSPB say about their location;

"The UK's heaviest duck, and its fastest flying. It is a true sea duck, rarely found away from coasts where its dependence on coastal molluscs for food has brought it into conflict with mussel farmers. In the breeding season, eiders are best looked for from the Northumberland coast northwards and off the west coast of Scotland. They are found in the same areas in winter and also further south on the Yorkshire coast and around the east and south coast as far a Cornwall. Belfast Lough is a N Ireland stronghold and some are also found off the Welsh coast."

There are also a few red breasted geese on the JCB lake.  These are an endangered species from Siberia and the ones at JCB appear to be pinioned so they must be part of the bird collection there.  I think these small geese look rather splendid.

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