Thursday, 26 February 2015

Surf Scoter

I haven't put many blogs up lately but then I can sum up February as six days spent dipping the Little Bunting at Old Lodge, three days spent dipping the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at Mark Ash Wood, and a couple of half way successful days standing outside a sewerage farm photographing Siberian Chiffchaffs. All made worse by the fact that on day one of looking for the Little Bunting, it must have perched right in front of me, without my being able to identify it. Dave standing next to me managed to get a picture of it.

Today brought an improvement, a Surf Scoter had been reported yesterday in Stokes Bay just to the west of Gosport. We waited for confirmation that it was still about then set of for Hampshire through the heavy rain. We couldn't find it at the reported location of being off Elmore car park but then driving further east we found it back in yesterdays location of the second car park in Stokes Bay.

A quick look through the telescopes confirmed the sighting of one Surf Scoter and two Common Scoter and also left us soaked through and cold from the driving rain. We then sat in the car for three hours watching the Scoters fishing out in the bay and at the same time watching the weather radar on the web waiting for the rain band to clear.

The birds were always distant and with rough seas and poor light the pictures were never going to be brilliant but any shot of a Surf Scoter on the south coast has got to be worth having.

This is the view through the big lens - about equivalent to a 10x50 binocular

Digitally enlarged on Photoshop - reasonable quality

Overdone, pixels starting to show but it gives a clearer view of that multicoloured beak and the white patches on the nape and forehead.

February has improved but I still need to get that Little Bunting. Even my wife is encouraging me to have another go. Don't let it beat you she said, it's only a little bird - but she was having difficulty stopping herself laughing whilst she said it.

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