Eiders down

We went for a walk around to the other side of the bay at the weekend – when the weather was much nicer than it is now – and came across these two couples sunning themselves. Oh-ooooh-ooh!

We were able to creep up on them as they were lying down on the water’s edge just over a rise of pebbles on the beach. Sadly, I only had my 15-85mm lens – if only I could have been bothered to carry the 400mm!

The Shetland name for eiders is dunters. I have a bit of a soft spot for these ducks; I love the males call (that Oh-oooooh-ooh) and the very regal aquiline ‘nose’ they have in profile.

Here’s an extract from a post from last year…

I love the sound of the male Eider’s call. It’s like he’s just seen his Missus for the first time and is all appreciation, a la Leslie Thomas on spotting a nubile young blonde. ‘Oh, oooh-hoo’ he says, as though seeing some evidence of latent carnality beneath her dowdy brown exterior, which in any case can’t compare with his own splendid attire of black and white with a soft hint of pink and green. Perhaps he is admiring the long, graceful sweep of her nose, or her refined, understated elegance. Whatever, she seems to accept his admiration unquestioningly, as though it is merely her due, as she paddles sedately away with him ‘Oh, ooh-ooh’ing along behind. Who knows what’s going on under the water?


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