This is just the kind of thing I would like to see more of! A gravid/heavy (pregnant) female. After months of preparation and careful pair formation, we would hope that birds would be preparing to lay eggs and make nests. General lay time between eggs can be between 24-48 hours (or even 3 days in the case of the intrepid bufflehead!) This lovely lady has been heavy for well over a week, and judging by the downy goatie she was sporting on saturday (19th) I hope that she will be incubating even as we speak!
This Hooded Merganser nest is also a very welcome find. In April the female laid 4 sad looking eggs in a nestbox next door and then unknown to me proceeded to ignore them. I waited 14 days before looking again and there they were looking back at me; unloved and cold
Thankfully, I checked the next nestbox next door and sure enough, 9 shiny hoodie eggs smiled up at me. They are distinctive and like no other. They are almost spherical with no distinctive airspace end, and a shell that looks at once porous, and also as if laminated with a coating that looks much like clear nail varnish. The eggs are buried deep in the compost during lay in order to help keep them cool and humid, and they are then brought back to the surface and covered in down when incubation is ready to begin. I have collected a marker egg from this clutch and placed it in an incubator. Through the activity of this marker egg I will know when I need to go and collect the rest!
Last but not least; South Georgians! I have already bored you with these guys in recent weeks, so just enjoy the shot…