Goosander - Mergus merganser
This handsome diving duck is a member of the sawbill family, so called because of their long, serrated bills, used for catching fish.
Whilst the male Goosander is easily distinguished from the male Red-breasted Merganser, the females of both species are very similar. See text of Red-breasted Merganser.
Upland rivers of northern England, Scotland and Wales in summer. In winter they move to lakes, gravel pits and reservoirs, occasionally to sheltered estuaries.
All year in breeding range but only in winter across England south of the Humber.
A largely freshwater bird, the Goosander first bred in the UK in 1871. It built up numbers in Scotland and then since 1970 it has spread across northern England into Wales, reaching south-western England. Its love of salmon and trout has brought it into conflict with fishermen. It is gregarious, forming into flocks of several thousand in some parts of Europe.
Widespread in Britain - more common in the winter
Fairly common as a winter bird of passage in Leicestershire and Rutland
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
Enter a town or village to see local records