How do goosanders find fish?

by Russ on January 21, 2017

The female GoosanderWith so many locations to visit, we are truly spoilt for choice in the North West and although you might think most wildlife would be hard to see at this time of year, there are still plenty of animals and plants to enjoy even in the heart of winter.
For example, if you are walking
along a river or even a stream, there are a number of different ducks that can be seen in winter much more easily than in summer. They are seeking out the warmer conditions of towns, cities and their surroundings.

The goosander is one of these ducks. Low lying in the water with a white (male) or grey (female) body, this handsome duck also sports two head colour versions – one is emerald green (male) and the other is a dark orange-brown (female).

A goosander pair searching for fish.But the really interesting thing about this duck only presents itself when you look at the beak. Instead of a short, flat beak like that of a mallard, the Goosander has a long, thin grey beak with a hooked tip.

This gives us the biggest clue about what it eats. Like over river birds such as a heron or kingfisher, a long, thin beak heavily suggests that this duck is a fish-eater.

Watch them long enough and you may spot one diving, looking for fish underwater. In winter Goosanders form small flocks, making it easier to find food and evade predators.

Don’t forget…

To find out more more about what wildlife services we offer at Nature Talks and Walks, you can explore our ‘About Us‘ section.

If you have any questions or pictures of your wildlife, you can leave a comment below or email a picture and you could be featured in our future blogs! You can email us at:

[email protected]

Take care and remember, stay on the wild side!


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New Wildlife Holidays Announced for 2017

by Russ on August 9, 2016

The Shropshire Hills on this year's Shropshire SafariToday is a very exciting day at Nature Talks and Walks, as we can announce three brand new UK wildlife holidays coming your way!

We’ve been running wildlife holidays for HF Holidays since 2012, and next year we’ll be running tours in yet more exciting and stunning locations around the UK, all designed around discovering and enjoying British wildlife.

We’ll leave each day after breakfast with a freshly prepared meal for lunch. A minibus will stay with us throughout the day, so any equipment or food can be left here at our leisure.

Here’s what you can look forward to:

The Four-Spotted ChaserWings over the South Downs: Abingworth, 28th August 2017 (4 nights)

Discover the amazing world of flight as we go in search of birds, dragonflies and many other creatures of the air. This holiday is set in the stunning countryside of Sussex, staying in Abingworth.

The Great White EgretBirdwatching: Dolgellau, 30th September 2017 (6 nights)

Dolgellau offers beautiful scenery and fabulous wildlife, with plenty of nature reserves and different habitats. The bird watching here is perfect for the beginner and expert birder.

From tree tops to open estuary, the are dozens of different species of bird to see and enjoy in the welsh countryside. A good pair of binoculars are advisable and if you have a telescope, some of the locations we’ll be visiting have facilities to support their use.

 

The Fly AgaricAutumn Wildlife of the Lake District: Derwent Bank, 13th November 2017 (4 nights)

On this trip, we’ll be staying at the beautiful Derwent Bank. Autumn offers some of the best wildlife watching opportunities, with many species getting ready for the colder months. Migrating waterfowl and a multitude of mushrooms are among a couple of groups we’ll be looking for.

 

If you’d like to more information on any of the above holidays, please don’t hesitate to get in touch:

[email protected]

Stay tuned for more details in the future.

Don’t forget…

To find out more more about what wildlife services we offer at Nature Talks and Walks, you can explore our ‘About Us‘ section.

If you have any questions or pictures of your wildlife, you can leave a comment below or email a picture and you could be featured in our future blogs! You can email us at:

[email protected]

Take care and remember, stay on the wild side!


Be the first to comment

Why are Red Squirrels Endangered?

May 4, 2016

Of the mammals in the garden, perhaps the easiest to spot is the Grey Squirrel. This bushy-tailed rodent can often be seen running up and down trees in the garden and hogging the bird feeder. But this creature is not native to the UK. Originally it comes from North America and was brought here over […]


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Where do Coal Tits live?

April 27, 2016

The Blue Tit is one of our favourite birds in the garden. Known for its acrobatic skills and parrot-like colours it has a special place in the hearts of many gardeners. But the Blue Tit has several cousins that it shares our gardens with. Some of these cousins often go overlooked unless you known where […]


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The Spring Oak – How to identify oak trees

April 20, 2016

The oak tree goes through big changes throughout the year. In spring, the tree is coming back to life after a long period of dormancy, so what’s happening? First of all are the leaves. Gone are the small brown buds and here are the fresh new leaves, bright with colour. Oak leaves are heavily lobed […]


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Why do cormorants spread their wings?

April 13, 2016

Walking along a river there are many different birds you can spot. From coots to herons, each has their own uniqueness, beauty and charisma. But above the birds swimming in the water and nesting in the trees, another, much larger bird can be seen. Sitting out of the water, holding its wings outstretched is the […]


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When does Hawthorn blossom?

April 13, 2016

Of the many leaves now bursting back to life after winter, one of the brightest is the leaf of the Hawthorn tree. This small hedgerow tree has bright, lime-green, club-shaped leaves at this time of year but this stunning display is nothing compared to the blossom. The whole tree grows between 20 and 40 feet is […]


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Where does Moss grow?

April 6, 2016

In the middle of the woods, growing on many of the trees and stones is one of the oldest and most unchanged group of plants on the planet. Surviving in the damp areas that other plants can’t get a foothold, moss will be able not just to survive but positively thrive. In some ways, mosses […]


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What does Coltsfoot mean?

March 30, 2016

If ever you have a dandelion without leaves, growing in a particularly tough environment, you have a completely different flower called Coltsfoot. But if the name Dandelion comes from the French, where does Coltsfoot originate? Colstfoot grows its flowers early in spring, because it hopes to take advantage of all the emerging insects in serious […]


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What do Weevils eat?

March 23, 2016

Creeping out of the woodwork after winter is an insect with an incredible looking nose. Of all the noses in the animal kingdom, the Weevil beetle must surely have one of the most surreal. There are many different types of weevil, but many that we can see are oval in shape with a long, tubular […]


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