Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Scottish Mega - 26.6.16

2 Photos of the American White-winged Scoter

Coming so soon after my big dip to the W.Isles I wasn't expecting to be allowed out birding for a while! But seeing as I've picked a goodun in Carey I was allowed out for the day and again to Scotland! Arranging to head to Aberdeen with Brendan Glynn we headed North and picking up James Hanlon in Cambs we arrived in good time at Blackdog. Over the years this has been a well known site for Scoters. Usually the odd Surf Scoter is to be found offshore and on the odd occasion something rarer like Black Scoter. Back in 2011 The first UK record of American White-winged Scoter was found with a 1st year bird proving tricky for some to pick up. Today we were back for a second bite at the yanky cherry as the 2nd record had been found. This time it was an adult bird so either the young bird returning or a new bird? Once we'd crossed over the soaking wet golf course we joined around a dozen or so birders which for a 2nd for Britain I thought wasn't very many. It took a while but we got our eye in and watched our first ever AMERICAN WHITE-WINGED SCOTER. Every now and then the flock would dive or fly a small way but after a couple of minutes the bird was fairly easy to pick out. The AWWS was in with a few hundred Common Scoter and at least 15 Velvet Scoter. Also present were over 200 Eider and a couple of Red-Throated Diver. After getting our fill we headed off for home and arrived back 21.5 hours after setting off!

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