Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Shelduck
(Common Shelduck, Links Gooose, Sly Goose, Ringer Goose, Links, Gjus, Skeldro, Shied Duck, Sheldrake, Skelduck)
Photograph © Debbie Bozkurt
Stinky Bay - Benbecula - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
18th June, 2006
Our Shelduck photographs :
- 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.
(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 bunch of waterfowl
|waterfowl (less than 30)
||A paddling of ducks
|ducks, idle in water
||A raft of ducks
||A dopping of ducks
|ducks, on ground
||A badelynge of ducks
||A flight, plump, or team of ducks
||A brace, bunch, flock, skein, sord, string, brace, flush
Other local bird photographs
Sources of information for the bird sightings section
Debbie's online photo album