Monday 13 June 2022

Inshore Scoter

The lightish wind was pretty much due west all day. Some extended sunny spells.

Just my check of the south shore so far (MD). Towards high water mid to late morning.
Rock Pipits 3 (2 Red Nab plus 1 near waterfall)
Linnet 2 on saltmarsh plus 5 between lighthouse and waterfall 
Mediterranean gulls 4, possibly 5 2nd calendar year - as I walked out there were 3 feeding on No.2 outflow and 1 feeding on No.1 outflow. Possibly one had moved across, but the bird on No.1 was the one with the broken tail bar, and I hadn't  noticed it on No.2.
2cy Mediterranean gulls weren't the only medium sized gulls with dark primaries today, there were also two 2cy Common gulls. This clip starts with a 2cy Med then switches to a 2cy Common gull.

On the way back, there were 2 feeding on No.2 outflow and 3 on Red Nab, but again, possibly an overlap. But later there were at least 4 on Red Nab. I say "on Red Nab", but by this time the tide was covering Red Nab and the gulls were floating on the sea in rafts. This clip shows a section of a raft containing  3 x 2cy Mediterranean gull, but also includes; Common Gull 2 adult plus 2 x 2cy. Black-Headed gulls 18 adult plus 1 x 2cy and a Lesser Black-backed gull.

Eider 3 female near saltmarsh 
Common Scoter 1 male - I was pleased with this, on my way out along the foreshore I spotted a distant dark speck to the south. It was in the water but not out far and it seemed to be moving along with the tide and waves. I thought "duck", and dark ducks here tend to be Eider, but something didn't look right. I decided that if it continued moving as it was, it would end up in the far corner of the saltmarsh. So on my return I went back to the saltmarsh and walked around till I reached the SE corner. And there it was. It's nice when a plan comes together!
It drew quite a bit of attention. First a couple of Black Headed-gulls

It swam closer to me, before moving on to the saltmarsh to preen.

I couldn't work out why I couldn't get a clear shot of its bill, but when I got home and checked my pictures I realised the reason was that it had wart like growths on its bill.
Male Common Scoter with some sort of growths on its bill

The Eider came to check it out and eventually sat on the saltmarsh near it. A Lesser Black-Backed gull also came for a look. Perhaps the interest was just for something "different", but I did wonder if the presence of Scoters normally suggests the presence of a nearby food source (MD).
Female Eider checking out the Common Scoter

The Carrion Crow have fledged two young, they are still at the "testing everything to see if its food" stage. The closer two birds are the young ones.