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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Shelduck

Hebrides Bird Sightings : Shelduck

Shelduck

(Common Shelduck, Links Gooose, Sly Goose, Ringer Goose, Links, Gjus, Skeldro, Shied Duck, Sheldrake, Skelduck)

Tadorna tadorna

Gaelic: Crà-gheadh

Photography © Frank Stark
Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
June, 2007

 

Our Shelduck photographs :

Shelduck
Shelduck
Shelduck
with ducklings

Shelduck
with ducklings

 

  • Shelduck (Common Shelduck, Links Gooose, Sly Goose, Ringer Goose, Links, Gjus, Skeldro, Shied Duck, Sheldrake, Skelduck)
  • Tadorna tadorna
  • Gaelic: Crà-gheadh
  • UK: Migrant/Resident Breeder, Winter Visitor
  • UK: AMBER LIST. Summer 10,900 pairs. Winter 81,300 birds RSPB
  • WI: Uncommon Breeder (10-99 breeding pairs) and a winter visitor regulary seen in good numbers (returning from moult migration)
  • Breeds: Usually in cavities - rabbit burrows in sandbanks & dunes, tree holes, haystacks, clefts in rocks, ruins etc. (Actual nest up to 3m from entrance). Sometimes on open ground. Nest-site up to 6 miles from water. Temperate Europe, Asia. Clutches of 32 eggs have been recorded (Other females laid in same nest).
  • Moulting & Wintering: Most pairs leave young in a crèche - forming "packs" of up to 100 young with a couple of adults whilst other adults go to moult. (Sometimes it is a case of some adults try to adopt the young of others). Birds in W Europe are largely resident with movements just to moulting grounds. Main site: Wadden Sea on the N German coast where flocks number up to 100,000 birds. UK birds also gather in the The Wash & Bridgewater Bay. Wintering on suitable estuaries, tidal mudflats. Majority of Sheduck migrate south to Africa, China, Japan.
  • Habitat: Coasts, estuaries, lakes, reservoirs, gravel pits
  • Diet: Mostly invertebrates, insects, small molluscs including aquatic snails, crustaceans
  • Gooselike piebald large duck. Red bill. Iridescent black-green head & neck. White body. Chestnut breast-band. Dark-green head & neck. Sexes similar (female slightly duller). Breeding adult male has swollen red bill knob. Flight: bird looks heavy. Slow-beating wings.
  • Typical lifespan 6yrs. Max recorded age 24 yrs 8mths
  • Listen to a Shelduck (RSPB site). Loud honk
  • Similar birds: Shoveler (drake)

 

Shelduck records in the Western Isles

Uncommon Breeder (10-99 breeding pairs) and a winter visitor regulary seen in good numbers (returning from moult migration).
Source: Outer Hebrides Bird Report (2001)


On the chart below the darker the shade of blue the more abundant the Shelduck is during a month or the more likely you are to see it.

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)

 

 

Male or female Ducks and their collective nouns

Some people use the word duck only for an adult female and drake for an adult male whilst others say hen and drake.

Waterfowl collective nouns (From WIKI):
waterfowl (on water) A raft
waterfowl A bunch of waterfowl
waterfowl (less than 30) A knob
ducks, swimming A paddling of ducks
waterfowl A plump
ducks, idle in water A raft of ducks
ducks, diving A dopping of ducks
ducks, on ground A badelynge of ducks
ducks, flying A flight, plump, or team of ducks
ducks A brace, bunch, flock, skein, sord, string, brace, flush

 

 

Frank's web site of his nature photography
www.frankstark.com

Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section


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