How to identify

The Velvet Scoter is a black sea duck. It has a long bill, a thick neck and a pointed tail. In flight, it shows a white patch on the rear of the wing – this can also be seen when birds sitting on the sea flap their wings. This Schedule 1 species does not breed in the UK, but is a winter visitor to the east coast, especially in Scotland, Norfolk and north-east England. The large flocks in winter are at risk from oil pollution and depleted fish stocks. Schedule 1 protection means it is an offence to disturb this bird.


  1. Resident
  2. Passage
  3. Summer
  4. Winter
* This map is intended as a guide. It shows general distribution rather than detailed, localised populations.
  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec

Key facts

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