Saturday, 16 April 2011

Aren't I glad I didn't dash to North Wales

So Thursday started off as a normal day really, my car was due for some repairs and its M.O.T so it went into the garage early on in the morning. I then came home and had a relaxing day, as usual I was checking BirdGuides on a fairly regular basis hoping some news would come up. I wasn't quite expecting to see a large bold "R" next to a report of a Black Scoter of Stag Rocks in Northumberland. When I read the news it did go through my mind "It's going to be one", but I couldn't go up there as I had no access to my car and I could go all the way up there and find out it was a false alarm. Turns out Mr Tilmouth managed to get someone on the scene and eventually at about 2 o'clock the news was mega'd as a Black Scoter.

Surprisingly I strayed relatively calm, rang the garage and asked when I was able to get my car back and would it be today (Thursday) or tomorrow. Thankfully they informed me I would get it back about 3.30, excellent! I love light nights.

So I pulled up at Stag Rocks in Northumberland at about 5 and I was on the bird almost immediately. I think perhaps more distinctive than I was expecting having read literature on identification earlier on in the day. The neck was surprisingly thick and the yellow on the bill stood out a mile! Even though the bins I could make it out even though the bird was at a fair range away. Superb bird and it was great to have another long distance twitch, I love these twitches sometimes.

Also whilst on site I picked up my first Sandwich Tern of the year, I dipped White-tailed Eagle on the way home but did get 5 Avocet and a flyover Marsh Harrier at Cresswell Pond to round the day off. So all in all a excellent afternoons twitch/birding.

(Black Scoter - © Willie McBay)

Special thanks to Willie McBay for allowing me to use his images of the Black Scoter.

Until next time, Foghorn out!

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