Welcome to the News section of the iNSiGHT Ornithology website (
www.simoncherriman.com). This blog contains updates about various things I've been up to, interesting environmental issues and observations I make regularly while going about my day. It is designed to be fun AND educational, and inspire you about our wonderful natural world. Happy reading!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Goose and a... Goosander!

These are geese! You probably know that as they are very well known, recognisable birds. I found this pair along the River Don today, and they seemed to be a male Grey Goose (Anser anser, left) paired with what looked like a hybrid female Canada Goose (Branta canadensis). Either way they were both very obliging for this photo!

The word 'goose' was familiar to me... but the word 'goosander' was not, until I saw some today and 'put a face to the name'. Goosander (Mergus merganser) are a waterfowl that appears to be a duck crossed with a grebe. They dive for fish but swim on the surface and bask in the sun on rocks much like a duck. Here is a shot of a pair, the female is on the left. I wasn't able to get that close, but the male's black head is actually iridescent green, a really stunning sight.

Further upstream I came across 4 ducklings, which were all by themselves, no parents in sight. From their beautiful faces and pointed bills, I thought they must be Goosander, but I'm not sure until I check their identity with my local expert! Whichever species they are, they certainly are very cute! More coming very soon!

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