Millennium Goosander

Like the Millennium Falcon, but aquatic and a lot of fish eating involved? Ok, that probably won’t make the next Star Wars, but what you will enjoy seeing is the autumnal return of Cardiff’s goosanders as they take residence in the city centre by the Millennium Stadium.

Female Goosander Cardiff

This female was effortlessly swimming along the banks by the stadium (now you see where I got my title from? Terrible I know!), tucking into whatever was living in the nooks and crannies of the rocks. Females like this one have a punky orange head, whereas the males have a dashing bright green head, so they’re pretty easy to tell apart once you’ve identified it. 

They have specialist serrated bills, as you can see in that above photo, and is a great indicator of the health of the Taff as their main food source is fish. Like a lot of aquatic birds, their legs are quite far back on their bodies, which helps with power and manoeuvrability in water. Once you know this, you’ll spot it across a lot of water birds!

Sometimes spotted in groups, this one was sitting amongst a mix of mallards, swans, geese and cormorants. But I have been reliably informed there’s a few of them which are hanging around there, so it’s worth going at different times of day to see who’s about. Go have a nosy and see who’s there!

Female Goosander Cardiff
Female Goosander Cardiff

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