March 13th   Leave a comment

There was a pair of shelduck on the rocky shore at the north end of Balcomie this morning. This is where they usually breed, in a sheltered, enclosed spot or down a rabbit hole. I have never found the nest there so I suspect down a hole. They can breed inland quite happily so it may be well away from the beach in a bank above the golf course or alongside one of the fields. The chicks will then be walked across the golf course to the sea after hatching. It starts to feel like spring when the shelduck come back to Balcomie. The frogs in my pond feel it is spring already though – spawn was visible for the first time today although it hasn’t risen to the surface yet. The pond has been a mass of grappling and croaking frogs all week even though the temperature has still only been about six degrees most days.

Pair of shelduck at Balcomie – female on the left and male on the right. (JA). This is a photo from last year but shelduck mate for life and live a long time so the pair I had today are very likely to be the same birds. Older birds start breeding earlier than new pairs as well.

Posted March 13, 2021 by wildcrail in Sightings

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