Goosanders at Shakerley

Our recent walk around the local Shakerley Mere showed some unusual visitors, in addition to the usual ducks, Canada geese, grebes, swans and the odd heron. There were cormorants in the trees, but also three unusual ‘ducks’. It soon became apparent that these were not dabblers, as they sped around the lake much faster than a mallard, diving under water for periods in the manner of grebes. Their speed made for difficult photography. This was the best one, at the limits of my pocket superzoom.

These are goosanders, also known as common mergansers in the US. Their long serrated ‘saw bills’ are ideal for catching fish.

According to Wikipedia these are seaducks, equally at home in salt and fresh water.

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