Wednesday 21 December 2011

Scoter Search Update

So I trekked out to Weston Cliffs this morning, looking forward to finding a Surf Scoter or two at the very least.

At the cliff top I started scanning, and continued scanning, back and forth......and I couldn't for the life of me see one Common Scoter - let alone a flock of 200!

Just as I was starting to think I had gone mad - I picked them up, but they were even further to the west. They were off the cliffs on the other side of Weston mouth, probably not all that far from Sidmouth really! It's no wonder I couldn't see them sitting on the sea from Branscombe!

From where I was, they were still way too far away to check properly, but a quick count up revealed almost 300 birds! So I know what I am doing tomorrow now - trekking out to the cliff top at the other side of Weston mouth!

I drove back home via the Estuary, where I could see Gav and Brian H scoping the gulls from Coronation Corner. I pulled in a little lower down the river, and after a false alarm (I thought I had a good candidate for a Yankee Herring Gull), the Caspian Gull appeared in a gull flock upstream after they had all been for a bit of a fly around.

It is such a striking bird - way more obvious than the juv/first-winter Yellow-legged Gulls we pick out from late summer onwards. I won't bombard you with Caspian Gull pics, just the one I think shows best just how striking it is...

BRUTE! A brute with a beer belly too!!!

Check back tomorrow to see if I finally get to grips with this bloody Scoter flock!!!

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