Al Fredericksson

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Goosander

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This pair of goosanders was resting and preeening on a rock on the River Wharfe about a mile upstream of Grassington.

The male is on the left.

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The female has a downward pointing crest, which can be seen even more clearly on the next picture.

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The male has a  magnificent green-black head, and both male and female birds have a red bill, which is serrated and has a hooked end for catching and grasping fish.

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In common with many other birds, it raises its head to swallow when drinking.

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After some time, the female joined the male in the river, and the two birds swam steadily upstream.

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We saw this lone female goosander on the River Trent just below Gunthorpe Lock in April 2011.