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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

06 January, 2016

Wigeon: whistle down the wind





Another common duck on the shores of Dorset in winter is the wigeon (Anas penelope). Breeding in the far north a good number, thousands in fact, come this far south arriving from October onwards before heading back north again in March and April.
Wigeon are lovely little ducks, multicoloured with a yellow forehead on a maroon head but, from a distance, it is the white in the wing and tail that shows up.
The males make a gentle whistling noise which is nothing like a traditional duck 'quack'. Quite often you will hear them before you see them.
Always in large flocks, more often on fresh water than saline and frequently seen grazing on land you will find wigeon on the Fleet, in Poole Harbour and Christchurch Harbour as well as other places like Radipole and Lodmore.
Wigeon: whistle down the wind