Where to see Eider

Courtship Display

From late winter through to early spring, the amazing spectacle of male eiders displaying to the females can be seen before the females head out to the islands to nest. The best places to watch this display is in Amble or Seahouses harbours where the birds can be seen and heard at close quarters.

Courting eiders (Photo: Tom Cadwallender)

Nesting Females

The main nesting sites for Northumberland’s eider are on the Farne Islands National Nature Reserve and on Coquet Island. Boat trips to the Farne Islands can be taken from Seahouses Harbour where nesting eiders can be seen on Inner Farne.


Nesting eider (Photo: The National Trust)


From mid-May ducklings leave their nest sites as tiny balls of fluff, no bigger than a tennis ball and make the dangerous crossing to the sheltered bays, estuaries and harbours of the mainland.

At this time large creches of ducklings can be seen with adult female birds. Good places to see them include the Coquet Estuary, Alnmouth and Budle Bay.


Eider with chicks (Photo: Paul Morrison)


During winter eider ducks will spend much of their time at sea but they can be seen taking refuge in harbours when the weather is poor.