You are here


Click the pic!

To aid users of mobile devices as well as those with a mouse or laptop finger pad this site uses a simple image-based menu system. Virtually every picture you see (images and photos) are links to more information arranged in a sort of top-down structure. See an image, click or tap on it to open a new page.

Another duck that is far more common in winter and recognisable by the large beak and white colouring with rusty sides


Photograph by: 
Mark Wright

Shoveler: beak almighty

Post date: Wednesday, 9 September, 2015 - 00:00

Without being too personal that certainly is one almighty beak! That said, it is a really effective feeding tool.

The shoveler (Anas clypeata) does what it says on its label, shovelling its food up by taking in large amounts of water and filtering it out through the sides of that large beak and digesting what is left. Often, you will see little lines of them with the leader disturbing the water and the ones behind in its 'slip stream' benefiting from the stirred up water.

This is another duck that is far more common in Dorset in winter than summer with inward migration from the north where you will find them mainly on fresh water, especially in areas where there are reed beds or marshy areas. They particularly like scrapes on nature reserves and the North Hide at Radipole Lake is usually good for a dozen or so.

From a distance their mainly white colouring with rusty sides usually make them clearly identifiable


The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Common Name Shoveler
Scientific Name Anas clypeata
Status Occasional
Interest Level
Species Family Ducks
  • 01 - January
  • 02 - February
  • 03 - March
  • 10 - October
  • 11 - November
  • 12 - December
Preferred Environment
  • Rivers
  • Lakes and ponds
  • Harbours, estuaries and lagoons
Look for The enormous bill
Additional Identification Notes
  • Called shovelers becuase of the large shovel-like bill which they use to seive water to extract food
  • Often seen in as a procession of three or four with the front one disturbing the water for the benit of the followers
  • Green and white with rust colored flanks
Similar Species