The eider that was nesting just a few metres from my room was sadly predated by Herring Gulls in May. I was disappointed by this as she was just days from hatching. I was therefore delighted that she had relaid while I was in Turkey. I kept a close eye on her during this time of incubation and never saw her leave her nest even in the middle of warm nights. She would often keep me awake at night ‘chatting’ to other non breeding failed eiders!
I took this picture just after I relaid. I put the pile of down next to her which she used to line her nest.
Last Tuesday she finally hatched. I noticed she was acting differently to normal. She was very vocal and alert and very much on edge. She sat brooding the chicks for a few hours before she trotted off down to the loch. The other females showed an interest in her young when she got there and she joined the small creche that is currently in residence on the loch. She had two ducklings of her own.
Can you see the duckling sticking its head out behind her wing?
I wish her all the best and now I can get a good nights sleep!
She is just one of up to 1000 pairs of eiders that nest on the Isle of May NNR. The nesting season is nearly over for these seaducks but hopefully we will be seeing their young for weeks to come on the island. Up to 20000 eiders spend the winter of Tentsmuir Point NNR.