Saturday, 15 February 2014

Red necked but no Phalarope

With a few hours spare yesterday afternoon I headed up north with Cain. Grey Phalarope has been a bird that has eluded me for far too long now so with the long staying bird at Stag Rocks being seen again during the week hopes were high.
The tide was getting towards its highest and as a result Common Scoter, Long-tailed Duck along with the Eider were just offshore. As the weather turned from grey and dull to greyer and wet to horizontal sleet the sea got rougher. Gulls were hard to pick out never mind a tiny grey ball of fluff bobbing on the waves so once again I failed to see a Grey Phalarope.

As we scanned from in front of the lighthouse, a Red- necked Grebe was sitting on the water just below the rocks. The only previous one I had seen from here was at least a mile out on a choppy sea amongst a raft of 200+ Scoter a few years ago. We were treated to prolonged views of the Grebe as it floated even closer on the rocks just underneath us not bothered at all as it dived  and caught fish. As it dived its whole body was out of the water and I even watched its shadow move under the water in the shallows.

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