A nice surprise at Porthdinllaen this afternoon. The 1st winter female was fishing about 50 m out catching and gulping down one crab after the other and even ate a bit of seagrass. Pictures were dissappointing as the bird kept diving. It was a very brown bird with a white belly and a mottled breast. The head shape was surprisingly variable and sometimes recalled velvet scoter when she raised her forehead feathers.
At other times more like a classic surf with a "slicked back hair" continuing the line of the chunky bill over the flat-top head.
The wings were kept partially open when diving - a bit like an auk and the the tail was splayed reavaling a fan of ragged thin feathers with gaps between them
You calling me a tuftie?