Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Priorslee Flash - Velvet Scoter!!

The one that nearly got away! I was over at Stubber's Green with a few gulls in mind when (an hour after news broke) Steve Nuttall kindly tipped me off! It had been found at lunchtime on Priorslee lake but when I got there - a heart sinking moment as Geoff Holmes and Graham Walker were clearly scanning with no Scoter in sight.... And a guy was putting away his sailing dinghy..... draw your own conclusions!

Two of the Scaup had gone missing too so there seemed a reasonable bet that it had tagged along with them and flown to the flash?? After a few minutes, I headed off!

I checked out a large group of Tufties opposite the 'promenade' on arrival and almost the first bird I picked out - OMG Velvet Scoter a 1st winter female (first Shropshire lifer of the year!) !! Geoff and Graham were shortly there and a trickle of other birders later. It was 3.30ish by now and the light was fadinhg fast but here's a few of the record shots:-)

The locals were wondering wtf is that :-)

A muddy walk to the far side followed including a fall which I hope hasn't resurrected my back problem.... Oh well that's a better view!

The cheek patch is clearly more defined on the left side!

A retreat into darker walker came next but sadly the shutter speed was now getting into 'difficulties'!

A quick flash of those secondaries.....

A few more of the same!

Saved the the pick of the bunch til last?

Shropshire bird no 225 :-) Putting the calibre of this Scoter into perspective.....Only the fifth occurrence in the County, the last one was in 1994!!