Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Venus Pool - Common Scoter

72 hours had elapsed since the Martyn Owen bird finding service had sprung into action! After finding me a Shropshire lifer Great Northern Diver, a Black-necked Grebe for the yearlist (which eventually got it's picture taken) it was more good news......

Today's find was to banish the bogey and get Common Scoter on my Venus Pool and environs list :-) I've seen a few on other local stretches of water but patch ticks are always nice to come by!

I never got within 100m of it on the water sadly, it was the most flighty local Scoter I've seen... Hmm, thinking back,  I've never seen one fly in Shropshire (they wait until the stars come out!!) This one was constantly in flight on arrival and with milky white sky and intermittent rain a nightmare to get usable images even though on occasions, it flew overhead!

This is the best you're going to get on the water!

Strangely, it was not being spooked by my presence - on occasions flying straight towards me! Gunshots nearby didn't help but it was just one jittery bird generally! I like Martyn's, description - 'anxious' yeah, that's the one!

Here we go, for the record flight shots....... It was clearly a fem / juvenile but which? First impressions for everyone was that of a female but adult or juv??  looking at this image it has quite a pale belly....

Overhead, no doubting the pale underside?

To and fro.....  It was at times like watching a tennis match :-) Pale fringes now visible on the upperparts.

Eventually, this shot was the clincher for me, showing quite clearly how pale the belly was -chacteristic of  a juvenile bird....

Never mind the wind and rain, the dark birding days of November have certainly brightened up over the past few days :-) Oh and the VP life list creeps up to 163 :-)