Niall Benvie - Eider drake, Flatey, Iceland


This is quite a nostalgic picture for me, although it was taken very recently. It is quite similar to one I took 20 years ago when my son was a small infant although this time I was able to shoot it from the land rather than a floating hide. Funnily enough, both were taken with the same lens – my 500mm AFS Nikkor that is as good today as it was a lifetime ago.

There are several places in Iceland where eider ducks are encouraged into areas fenced off from arctic foxes and where, I suspect, gulls and skuas are “actively discouraged”. This makes the process of harvesting the down that lines their nests easier as they are happy to nest close to one another. The top end of Flatey has one such colony and it makes the birds a little bolder than they are in the UK.

Tags: Bird, calling, display, down, duck, eider, europe, Flatey, harvest, Iceland, Niall Benvie, water-level

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