June 12th   Leave a comment

I counted 37 eider chicks in Roome Bay this evening. This is the largest number I have seen there for a long time. Despite the gales and the cool weather the eiders seem to be having a good year. It’s a long way from chick to duck though. Round the corner just north of Balcomie Beach there is also a brood of shelducks still going strong. Shelducks try to breed every year on that bit of coast but never even get to the chick stage. Foxes probably get the eggs first. Shelducks nest in quite large burrows in sandy soil at the top of the beach. I should think a determined fox can dig a nest out very quickly. But not this year. I counted about 10 chicks hurrying to the shelter of the sea with their two anxious parents as I walked past. They are about a week old now: John photographed the same brood last week just after they hatched.

The brood of shelducks at Balcomie taken last week. They all still seem to be alive today.

The brood of shelducks at Balcomie taken last week. They all still seem to be alive today.

Posted June 15, 2015 by wildcrail in Sightings

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