Common Scoter - Melanitta nigra
An all dark sea duck, the male is totally black and the female lighter, with a pale face.
Lacks the white wing patch (on the secondaries) of Velvet Scoter
In the breeding season it favours small lochs in north and west Scotland, especially the Flow Country of Caithness and Sutherland. In winter it is found off the UK coast with concentrations in Carmarthen and Cardigan Bays, along the Moray Firth, and along the north Norfolk coast.
Can be seen offshore all year round but large numbers arrive from October, leaving from March. Most likely to be found on breeding grounds in June and July.
They feed on molluscs.
The UK breeding population of this small diving sea duck has substantially declined and it is now a Red List species. Its winter populations are vulnerable to oil spills.
Rare in Leicestershire & Rutland.
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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