Bird's Eye View of Bute

The Goosander

(1) Male Female
(1) Male Female
(2) Male Female
(2) Male Female
(3) Goosander Male
(3) Goosander Male
(4) Both
(4) Both
(5) Male Female
(5) Male Female
(6) Male Female
(6) Male Female
(7) Male Female
(7) Male Female

 

THE GOOSANDER
These are the other ducks that come under the name “Sawbills”.
I wrote about the Red Breasted Merganser ( the other Sawbills) on 27-03-2009, and it has taken me until now to get a decent image of these ones since then, although it was not for the want of trying.


They say that everything comes to those who wait, but in nature you have to go look for what you want. Sometimes you strike lucky with getting good images without much bother, but these days are few and far between.
These ducks are mainly on fresh water unlike the Red Breasted ones who mainly frequent the salt
waters, but are also at home in the fresh. The ones on Bute mainly prefer the Greenan Loch ,but can be seen on Loch Fad and the Kirk Dam from time to time.
The name sawbills comes from their bills with are serrated which makes it easier to hold on to their food which is small fish.
The male has a green-glossed,black head with rounded crest, giving head unique shape. Back black; flanks and underparts white with warm pinkish flush.
Females are very much like the female Red Breasted Merganser which are plentyfull around Bute.
Breeds on lakes mainly in the forested country in the north. Nest is a lined hole in a tree, or similar cavity, depending on locality and availability, and having 7-14 creamy eggs.
There are usually about a dozen or so on Bute, and the males stick out like a sore thumb, with their white bodies which are easily spotted from a distance.
Their calls are varied, with an ‘oorp oorp’, from the males, and a ‘skrrak skrrak from the females in flight, although I have never heard a thing from them at any time.
An interesting fact according to my book the males fly to Northern Norway to moult, with no mention of what the females do at that time, and then in the Autumn gathers in Northern Europe in thousands in their favourite lakes, fishing collectively in driving cordons, eagerly attended by gulls, with still no mention of the females? (Maybe I should buy another book, or maybe male chauvinism is not only for humans,)
 

Norrie Mulholland
First Published in the Buteman 21-10-2011


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