Ducks, Geese, Grebes & Swans

Eider duck

Eider duck

Somateria mollissima

The UK's heaviest duck, and its fastest flying. It is a true seaduck, rarely found away from coasts where its dependence on coastal molluscs for food has brought it into conflict with mussel farmers. Eiders are highly gregarious and usually stay close ...

Goldeneye

Goldeneye

Bucephala clangula

A medium sized diving duck. Males look black and white with a greenish black head and a circular white patch in front of the yellow eye. Females are smaller, and are mottled grey with a chocolate brown head. In flight, birds show a large area of white...

Goosander

Goosander

Mergus merganser

These handsome diving ducks are a member of the sawbill family, so called because of their long, serrated bills, used for catching fish. A largely freshwater bird, the goosander first bred in the UK in 1871. It built up numbers in Scotland and then since ...

Greylag goose

Greylag goose

Anser anser

The ancestor of most domestic geese, the greylag is the largest and bulkiest of the wild geese native to the UK and Europe. In many parts of the UK it has been re-established by releasing birds in suitable areas, but the resulting flocks (often mixed w...

Red breasted merganser

Mergus serrator

This is a striking diving duck uses its long serrated bill to catch its prey, mainly small fish. The male has a distinctive red/orange breast and a green head. It swims lying low in the water, looking waterlogged. 

Whooper swan

Whooper swan

Cygnus cygnus

The whooper swan is a large white swan, bigger than a Bewick's swan. It has a long thin neck, which it usually holds erect, and black legs. Its black bill has a large triangular patch of yellow on it. It is mainly a winter visitor to the UK from Icelan...

Slavonian grebe

Slavonian grebe

Podiceps auritus

Arguably the most attractive of the UK's breeding grebes, with its golden ear tufts and trilling calls. It looks similar to the black-necked grebe in winter but has whiter cheeks which almost meet at the back of the neck. Due to its small breeding popu...

Wigeon

Wigeon

Anas penelope

The wigeon is a medium-sized duck with a round head and small bill. The head and neck of the male are chestnut, with a yellow forehead, pink breast and grey body. In flight birds show white bellies and males have a large white wing patch. Birds breed i...