Goldeneye - Bucephala clangula


A medium sized diving duck. Males look black and white with a greenish black head and a circular white patch in front of the yellow eye. Females are smaller, and are mottled grey with a chocolate brown head. In flight, birds show a large area of white on the inner wing.

Identification difficulty

In summer, mainly in Highlands of Scotland. Best looked for in winter on lakes, large rivers and sheltered coasts, particularly in the north and west of Britain.

When to see it

Summer in the Highlands of Scotland for breeding birds; wintering birds arrive from August to December and return north in February and March.

Life History

First nested in Scotland in 1970, and since then birds have been attracted to nest in specially designed boxes put up on trees close to water. In winter, birds from northern Europe visit the UK.

UK Status

Widespread in the UK, but more common in the winter

VC55 Status

Scarce in Leicestershire and Rutland during the summer, more common through the winter here.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Goldeneye, Common Goldeneye
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
17/03/2006 (Nicholls, David)
Last record:
25/03/2024 (Messenger, Nigel)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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