February 2nd   Leave a comment

A local male Goldeneye

A local wintering male Goldeneye

A highlight of Roome Bay at this time of the year are the goldeneyes. You can’t miss these very distinctive ducks diving among the waves, often in the roughest surf. The males are more distinctive than the brown headed females, but share an odd shaped triangular head which always makes them easy to identify. Goldeneyes breed in boreal forest, including our relic bits in the Highlands, nesting in holes in trees well above the water of lochs and slow rivers. The young have to jump down to the ground below, and literally bounce, if the hole is not directly above the water. Goldeneyes will take to nest boxes, although somewhat larger than the average tit box. In the winter they move to lowland lakes and the sea and I expect the four or so pairs of goldeneyes that spend the winter in Roome Bay come back here every year, just like the redshanks. It would be nice to know if they are Scottish breeders too, although birds from Scandinavia vastly outnumber our home grown birds in the winter.

Posted February 2, 2017 by wildcrail in Sightings

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