March 5th   Leave a comment

March is a good time to see red-breasted mergansers. They turn up regularly in Roome Bay and are a constant fixture off Balcomie Beach. The males are particularly worth seeing with their bright red spiky bills, red eyes, and their punky head feathers – mini-Chinese dragons. In flight they are so thin and elongated, with their wings right at the back of their bodies, that they look like arrows. Red-breasted mergansers are mostly marine in the winter, catching small fish close inshore. They replace the goosanders – our other common fish-eating duck – at the end of the summer. Both species are absent from Crail from late April to the beginning of June when they move inland to breed on rivers.

Male red-breasted merganser at Balcomie

Posted March 5, 2018 by wildcrail in Sightings

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