The first of many – eider ducklings

The first 3 ducklings hatched.

The engine room ducks eggs were eaten by a gull.

The eider season is in full swing on the island. Most of the females seemed to have paired up and are busy incubating now. Down on the night club dance floor (the loch) the males are busy pursueing fewer and fewer females and are displaying more and more frantically, just as if the last song is being played.  But one female has caught us on the hop by appearing on the loch with her 3 ducklings about a week before we were expecting to see hatched broods.  She will take those ducklings off across 6 mikles of water to the Fife Coast where there is better feeding as soon as she can.
And once clutch hasn’t made it. The engine room duck (named as she sits right outside the engine room) left her nest and the unatttended eggs were taken by a gull. We don’t know if she was frighted off by visitors getting too close or left for another reason but it is a good example of why it is so important to stick to the paths and give these beautiful birds a bit of space when they are on the nest.
At the end of the month we will be counting all the eiders on the island and so have a better idea of how they are doing.

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