Currently on a short visit to the south west of England, we stopped off at the Slimbridge Wetlands Trust reserve where I was able to indulge in observing my favourite duck, the Eider.
The male, shown above, has striking black, white and pistachio green plumage; the female, less showy but just as beautiful, is patterned with shades of brown feathers, arranged in attractive patterns.
I’ve written about these favourite ducks of mine before, and I have no idea why they come out top of my list, as there are many beautiful, attractive, humble, ordinary, interesting etc. others to choose from.
It’s something to do with the shape of the Eider’s head and beak that I find attractive – maybe it’s the pleasing curve – but, without knowing what their temperament is like in reality, they always look rather benign and friendly to me.
I suspect they are not particularly aggressive since the downy feathers they line their nests with are collected for eiderdown, notably in Iceland. I understand that this is replaced with fleece to allow for eggs and chicks to develop as naturally as possible.