Scroll down to see what bird to look for now!

Bird Watching
DECember ISSUE

In the latest issue of Bird Watching:

  • Free 2019 birding wall planner

  • Winters’s coming: 77 species to find for your #My200BirdYear list

  • What to do if you find a birding first for Britain

  • Dominic Couzens on the ‘average’ Redshank

  • Ruth Miller on why a wader ‘spectacular’ should be on your list

  • Bird photography tutorial

  • Nikon binoculars reviewed

All this and much, much more!

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What to look for, NOW!

every week we'll highlight what to look for when you're out birding.

This week it's: Goosander

Many British ducks are handsome, especially the drakes. Goosanders take this to the next level, and the females are pretty smart birds, too. These are large, streamlined ducks, which have evolved along parallel lines to divers, cormorants and to an extent grebes: they are fishing machines! So, the feet are powerful and set quite far back, the back sits low int he water and the bill is long and narrow for grasping fish. Up close, theis bill has a serrated edge for extra grip (hence the collective name for the mergansers, the sawbills). Male Goosanders are unmistakable, with pale (often salmon pink) and black bodies and a black head (which looks iridescent green in strong light) and a bright red bill. Females have reddish heads and more of a mullet-like crest at the back of the head, and a grey body. They are larger than female Red-breasted Mergansers and have a more powerful bill and a clear demarcation between the head and the pale breast and lower neck. Unlike Red-breasted Mergansers, Goosanders are readily found on inland waters (as well as in estuaries). They often choose favoured lakes for fishing and for roosting as well as facvoured stretches of rivers. Go out and admire one of most good lucking ducks!

 Male (drake) Goosander

Male (drake) Goosander

 Female Goosander

Female Goosander

 Two males and a female (centre) Goosander, taking flight

Two males and a female (centre) Goosander, taking flight

Image by Alamy


message from the editor...

Welcome to Bird Watching, the UK’s best-selling bird magazine. Every issue is packed with ideas, tips, advice, news and reviews, including binoculars and scopes, for anyone with an interest in wild birds, whether they simply enjoy watching their garden birds, or prefer to travel the country and world in search of more unusual species. Our mission is to inspire you to enjoy the world of wildlife that starts right outside your back door. Find out more and sign up to our annual birding challenge #My200BirdYear here.
Matt Merritt