|Drake Surf Scoter with Scaup in Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 3/2/13.|
During a couple of periods watching it (more than two hours of observation) it only lifted its head once but a thrill to see it with 473 Scaup at one of my favourite birding sites in Scotland.
Other birds on Loch Ryan included 5 Great Crested Grebes, 6 Slavonian Grebes, 36 Eiders, 3 Long-tailed Ducks, 3 Goldeneye, several Red-breasted Mergansers, Shags and a nice flock of 86 cracking Pale-bellied Brent Geese (above). Nearby there were at least 3000 Pink-footed Geese near Loch Connell.
On the way home I called in at Castle Loch near Lochmaben where we saw female Scaup, 5 Pochards, plenty of Goldeneye, a few Goosander, 2 adult Med' Gulls and best of all my first Scottish Bittern. You can just about make it out in the reeds in this shot taken at dusk.
That West Country weekend in January 1981 was quite special. As well as the Surfy we saw Cirl Bunting and Black Redstart at Wembury and finished off at Slimbridge with 6 Brent Geese, a Barnacle, a Pink-foot and a Lesser White-fronted Goose in the European Whitefronts. There were probably ten times as may White-fronts there than the present day too.