An exciting yet reasonably regukar visitor to New Mills the Goosander is a medium-sized duck and a member of a group called the ‘sawbills’ because of their long, narrow bills with saw-like ‘teeth’ which are excellent for gripping fish, especially the brown trout found in the River Goyt.
This long sleek, streamlined bird, is perfectly shaped for swimming after fish. Goosanders are gregarious birds, forming flocks of thousands in some parts of Europe but usually just in pairs locally.
Male goosanders are white, with dark green heads, black beaks and long, red, hooked bills. The white sides and breast sometimes have a pink glow. Female goosanders are grey, with a gingery or reddish brown head with white throat.
It is a fascinating bird to watch diving after food and often swims distances under water dissapearing in one part of teh river and appearing in another.
The Goosander breed on rivers in the North and West of the UK and winters on lakes and reservoirs.