Capt’n Coquet’s Corner

Posted on 23rd July 2010 | in Community

Capt’n Coquet’s Corner

Coquet Estuary – Eider Estuary!

Eider ducklings and their 'aunties' swim to Amble's Quayside

This year has seen a dramatic change in fortunes for the eider ducks of Coquet Island. After several years of falling numbers nesting on the RSPB nature reserve, 2010 has seen an increase in the ducks taking up the offer of a safe refuge to build their feather-lined nests.

Coquet Island is the southernmost breeding area for a colony of eider ducks on the east coast of England, and the eider (once protected by St Cuthbert) is one of the birds listed as making Coquet a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest.’

Once the ducklings hatch, the adult females (called “aunties”) guide them in crèches to the harbour so they can seek shelter and find lots of small beasties to eat in the mud on the north side of the estuary.

So far we have counted 254 ducklings – a record for the last 18 years! You can enjoy watching them leaving the island on the CCTV camera at the Seabird Centre on Amble Quayside and then spot the flotillas of ducklings arriving in the estuary.

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