I saw these diving ducks at Knotford Nook, through the incongruous high-security fence. The males are quite easy to identify, not so much for their eye colour as the white cheek patch on their very dark green heads. They’re with us for the winter from northern Europe, which means we miss the unusual courtship displays where they bend backwards so that their head touches their tail, whilst emitting a loud, double-whistle sound that can be heard up to a kilometre away. We also don’t get to see their aggressive assertion of territory, or their occasional brood parasitism ie tricking other Goldeneye into raising their young (like the Cuckoo).
Photos by Pixabay