December 9th   Leave a comment

At last a perfectly sunny winter’s day: low sun and high tide at Balcomie Beach mid-afternoon. Hundreds of gulls surfing, sanderlings still rushing about and the group of goldeneyes getting frisky inshore. The males must be recently moulted young males, looking magnificently glossy and clean, their golden eyes shining, and keen to find a mate to get a head start for next year’s breeding season. But with the major problem of there being six of them and only one female. They were working hard to impress, sticking up their mushroom shaped heads on stretched necks and then throwing them flat across their backs. Back and forth, while following this poor female, who looked really like it wanted just to get on with a bit of feeding in the surf. Every so often one of of the males would be so distracted that a big wave broke over it and it was forced to dive out of the way. Goldeneyes are completely at home in the waves: they emerged each time from a dive completely dry, immaculate and ready to start their ridiculous head craning all over again.

The goldeneyes at Balcomie at the moment – a skewed sex ratio leading to a lot of showing off (WC)

Posted December 9, 2019 by wildcrail in Sightings

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