Thursday, 24 February 2011

Sawbill

This morning, as we picked our way through the mud and muck around Shipley Lake, we were delighted to see a lone female Goosander (Mergus merganser) swimming along in the distance.
These birds belong to a group of waterfowl called Sawbills.  The name comes from their thin, serrated-edged bill which they employ to great effect in catching fish.  Belonging to the same family as ducks, geese and swans, they resemble, but are not true ducks.  The females are sometimes known as red-heads as they have a chestnut-coloured head and grey body.  The males are quite different and far more showy in black and white with a red bill.
Looking away from the water, the woodland is beginning to show more signs of Spring.  This time, the Lords-and-Ladies are now showing above the leaf-litter.  Looking forward to the flowers to come.
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