When to see
Long-tailed Duck are very much a winter visitor. They arrive from their arctic breeding grounds comparatively late – usually appearing around the start of October. Their numbers peak shortly after arriving, before dropping off to around 100-200 for most of the winter. The duck then depart again in April-May.
Where to see
Being a sea duck, the majority will be seen in Burghead Bay from Findhorn Beach and this is where the very large groups in autumn will be found. During the winter it is common to see a group of 20 or more sheltering in the northern end of Findhorn Bay. Likewise they can also be seen in neighbouring harbours like Burghead.
For most of the winter we see the Long-tailed Duck in winter plumage. Late in the season though and just before they migrate back to their breeding grounds the duck start to change into their breeding plumage and they become much more brown-black in colour.
Return to bird life.