Sunday, 19 June 2011

White-winged Scoter trip

I left work on Friday at 5pm and walked through my door at just after 6 on Saturday evening, a bit of an epic journey home!! I travelled up to Aberdeenshire with 4 mates in the hope of seeing the White-winged scoter, as well as the other assembled ducks and the near-by King Eider. We reached the Murcar golf course just after 4 in the morning and began scanning through the 2000+ ducks and auks. It took some 20-30 minutes to can from one side of the main scoter flock to the other. I found 3 drake Surf Scoters and 20+ Velvets of various age groups but no White-winged. A shout went up for a possible bird just before 6 and sure enough it was the White-winged an showing closer than I had expected, in fact it was probably the closet bird being just 200 yards offshore. It showed very well allowing the head profile, bill profile and colour to be studied well, the bird had distinct brown tinge to the flanks and little white was visible under the eye. It slowly swam further out and joined the main scoter flock. At one time I had Common, Surf, Velvet and White-winged scoter all in the same field of view, best of all for a while it allowed direct comparison with a 1st winter Velvet and the differences mentioned above set it apart.

White-winged Scoter - A rather poor video grab after it had moved much further out.
Drake Surf Scoter - 1 of 3


White-winged Scoter - Top video, bird is just in front of line of Common Scoters
Surf Scoter - Bottom video

After watching the bird for sometime the rain began to fall so we headed north to add the King Eider to the sea duck tally. After a bit of searching I picked it out feeding mid channel inland from the Coastguard building.
An epic day out and as usual a right giggle was had with the boys.

No comments:

Post a Comment