Its always worth taking a pair of binoculars (if you have them) when you go for a walk around Eyemouth harbour because invariably there is some beautiful creature that you will want to take a closer look at. The male eider ducks that shelter in the harbour are a case in point. You would think that their dapper black and white plumage is striking enough to attract any self-respecting female, but on closer inspection you will see that there is also a delicate pink flush to the breast and a mossy green patch on the back of the neck - simply exquisite! You might also be fortunate enough to watch them hunting for food; diving down to search the harbour floor for crabs and shellfish which they bring to the surface to eat. Its always a good game to guess where they are going to resurface. If you're lucky, a trail of bubbles that's caused by the water pressure pushing out air that's trapped in the feathers, gives them away! Following on from my last blog post; if you see a male eider, or Cuddy Duck as they're know in Northumberland (due to their association with St Cuthbert on the Farne Islands), its worth using more than just your eyes. Listen out for their comical Frankie Howerd like "ooOOH" calls, it can't help bring a smile to your face! From around now until spring you might see the males doing their head throwing courtship displays too - its seems female eider ducks take a lot of courting!
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