By Shannon Lane @shannonroselane
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The goosander is a fresh water duck, known as a ‘sawbill’. This name is given from their long, serrated beak specially equipped for catching fish.
British wildlife photographer David Tipling captured the chaotic scene along the River Nith, South West Scotland in December 2016.
He said: “The goosanders gathered here to feed on lampreys that are migrating up stream to spawn like salmon do.
“When the lampreys get to the weir they are held up, so it is a good place for the birds to fish.”
Despite being expert fishers, the more cunning goosanders chose to steal the other ducks’ fish rather than make the catch themselves.
David said: “On this occasion over 30 goosanders were fishing.
“A bird would emerge from its dive underwater with a fish, and the others would charge towards it to try and steal it off them.
“It was spectacular to watch as often the fish would change hands a few times before one managed to swallow it while being chased.”
The ducks breed and eat on the fast flowing rivers of Britain’s uplands, making them strong, experienced swimmers in rough water.
The photographer said: “Sometimes individuals would swim down the weir through the turbulent water reminding me of the Olympic slalom canoeists.”
See more of David's wildlife photography on www.davidtipling.com