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Haggis Hunter
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Joined: 29 Aug 2005
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Location: The building site formally known as Edinburgh!

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:47 pm    Post subject: Quack Quack Reply with quote

Another sighting that I have had today, and I can't find it in the bird book that I now own.

Walking down the Water of Leith today, near Saughton Prison. I saw a duck that had a complete white body and wings, black back, dark green head and long beak, but didn't look billed shaped.

It looked as though it may have been hunting as it was allowing the river to take it downstream whilst facing upstream, it would then fly back up river and start again. I got a couple of pictures but couldn't get close enough for a good shot.

Any ideas anyone?




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allieballie
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Joined: 29 Aug 2005
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Location: Fife

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gooseander?
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Wildlifewriter
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Joined: 04 Aug 2005
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Location: Norn Iron

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AB is correct. (Spelling apart.)

This is a Goosander mergus merganser, and it is a male. At this time of year, the sides and underparts would be tinged pink if you were able to see them.

Goosander are a Scots speciality. It's not so long ago that breeding pairs were found nowhere else, though they're a bit more widespread these days.


-Wlw
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Haggis Hunter
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Location: The building site formally known as Edinburgh!

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for identifying the duck/goose? Which one is it?

Charlotte from the Water of Leith* said the same, and they are apparently common on the river at this time of year.

*The Water of Leith Conservation Trust like rare sightings to be reported, especially sightings of the Kingfisher. As I never had a clue what it was, I reported it as a sighting. Embarassed
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Wildlifewriter
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Joined: 04 Aug 2005
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Location: Norn Iron

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haggis Hunter wrote:
Thank you for identifying the duck/goose? Which one is it?

Despite the name, it's a duck.

The odd-looking beak is typical of a class of waterfowl called "sawbills", which have serrated edges to the inside of the bill. Presumably, this helps them to hold on to a slippery wee fish after catching one.

Other ducks of this type include Merganser and Smew. (If you sight a Smew along the WOL, report it immediately. Smile )


-Wlw
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HighlandNick
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 635
Location: Highlands, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was down at the river yesterday - I saw this strange animal. Now I have been trained as an artist, so I made a quick sketch.
But I don't know what it is. Any ideas???
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Firth of Forth
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Location: East Lothian, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's rabuck Cool
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Wildlifewriter
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Location: Norn Iron

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The beast depicted seems to have characteristics belonging to ducks, ferrets and hares.

This means that it's either a Herret, a Dare, or a F (that's quite enough, thank you - Admin.)

-Wlw
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