Saturday, 29 December 2012

West Coast Creature Feature- Beautiful Barrow's Goldeneye

Barrow's goldeneye by smallgirl-apologies for the blurriness-it was raining
Walking in the rain by the sea is more fun than it sounds. One of my favourite winter activities is birding along the seashore, mostly to observe these guys.

Barrow's goldeneye overwinter on the West Coast. It brings me such pleasure to go down to the sea and observe them, swimming and hunting in huge rafts. You can identify this threatened species from common goldeneye by looking at the patch on the male's cheek: if it is a crescent (as opposed to a coin) you are looking at Barrow's goldeneye.

A simple thing that people can do to protect Barrow's goldeneye overwintering on the coast is to not run their dogs down the beach, or into the water, as it takes a lot of precious energy for the birds to get up and fly away.

Happy birding!

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