Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Surf Scoter Porthdinllaen

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?
crab salad

9 comments:

  1. Nice one Rhys and so close.Pity we didn't get the drakes off Llandulas as close.

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  2. Great find, Rhys. How many is that off the North Wales coast this winter? Six? Makes you wonder how many females get missed in the big flocks offshore. I can't even find a male amongst the thousands in Tremadog Bay at the moment!

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  3. Nice one Rhys. We'd find more if we had the Hubble telescope. Apparently boats are non starters as they flush when you get within 2 - 3km! (Info provided by Andy Clarke, Scoter Stalker).

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    1. Cool bird still shovelling down the custaceans at dusk - back of the net Mr Jones!

      It's true them scoters are well jittery. Get yourself down here Steve with the canoe and camera - it's remarkably close inshore (and much nicer looking than that boring brown Starling).

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    2. Cool bird still shovelling down the custaceans at dusk - back of the net Mr Jones!

      It's true them scoters are well jittery. Get yourself down here Steve with the canoe and camera - it's remarkably close inshore (and much nicer looking than that boring brown Starling).

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  4. Shirley Roulston25 January 2012 20:01

    Thanks for telling me that it was there Rhys, a great sightings. A great harbour it has chosen, clean water with lots of fish and crabs. Maybe others will join it.

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    1. Hi Shirley - no disrespect - would have loved to have found a Rose-coloured Starling in my garden, preferably a proper pink one!

      :-)

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    2. Every time I see a flock of Starlings I wonder if my Rosy' is amongst them. It'll be nearly in adult plumage by now. I'm in disgrace I haven't been to see the Scoter, I've been working and had family staying. I'm going to look tomorrow.

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