Image 23 of 246
Shelduck Tadorna tadorna L 55-65cm. Goose-sized duck with bold markings. In poor light, looks black and white. In flight, note contrast between white wing coverts and black flight feathers. Sifts mud for small invertebrates. Nests in burrows. Sexes are separable with care. Adult male is mainly white but with dark green head and upper neck (looks black in poor light), chestnut breast band, black belly stripe and flush of orange-buff under tail. Legs are pink and bill is bright red with knob at base. Adult female is similar but bill’s basal knob is much smaller. Juvenile has mainly buffish grey upperparts and white underparts. Voice Courting male whistles while female’s call is a cackling gagaga… Status Common on most estuaries and mudflats; local at inland freshwater sites. Migrates to favoured sites like Bridgwater Bay in Somerset for summer moult.