Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Eider duck (Somateria mollissima)

Known, of course, for its luxuriously soft down, the eider has two other claims to fame – it is our heaviest resident duck and, despite that (or perhaps because of it), it is also the fastest in flight. This female – somewhat drabber than the ostentatious male – was nesting alongside a popular pathway on Inner Farne in Northumberland's magnificent Farne Islands but seemed totally unperturbed by the pedestrian traffic. Nice to get this close…

Canon 1Ds MkII, 1/60 sec, f/22, 70mm at ISO 200


  1. Hi Tim. Great blog which I have just found by a chance link. Also by strange coincidence, I have just posted on eiders and starlings on my own blog - though your pictures knock spots off mine! I look forward to following your posts and catching up with your earlier material. Cheers, Allan

  2. Hi Allan. I've looked at your images and, on the contrary, the eider pictures in particular are fabulous artistic work.