This female Eider duck caught my eye on a recent visit to Slimbridge WWT. I have a bit of a thing about Eiders and if I had to list my favourite ducks they would be near the top, if not right at the top (OK, I like Pintails as well, so maybe it’s joint first place for both).
There’s no logic to why I like Eiders, I just do. It’s something to do with the shape of their heads and the way these curve beautifully and aesthetically into their beaks, making the whole head/beak shape very pleasing.
Male Eiders are a bit more colourful, with black, white and pistachio-green plumage, and a yellow beak. I like these too. But the brown and black markings of the female’s plumage are equally attractive, especially when viewed close to.
When staying in my motorhome by the shore of the Moray coast in Scotland, I was greeted every day by Eiders bobbing about in the nearby sea.
That was when I really started to look at them, note their distinctively shaped heads and beaks, and they’ve been top of my list ever since.
My mum used to say, as an exclamation, “Lord, love a duck!”. I don’t know where the saying comes from but with Eiders, it seems an appropriate one!