Eider down

Bill Oddie sneaks up on an eider duck's nest. The duck tries to ignore him, relying on her camouflage to protect her. Female eiders are dull brown, but a closer look reveals lovely speckled feathers - ginger, buff, black and white as well as brown. She moves to reveal a tiny duckling and some eggs. Bill heads for the shore to watch the male eiders, who take no part in looking after the eggs. They look a bit tatty because they are moulting. They make an unusual sound, which Bill compares to a posh lady being surprised by gossip. They stick their chests out and bob their heads and coo, rather than quack. There are families of females and ducklings in the water, starting to gather into large creches. One duckling has gone astray and may be in danger from gulls, but there are none around. A female has scooped out a pool in the shallows and the ducklings are learning to feed.

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