Sunday, 3 August 2014

Blackdog, Aberdeenshire

Surf scoter 2 drakes
Velvet scoter 15 drakes
Common scoter 2000
Long-tailed duck 1 female
Eider 300
Red-breasted merganser 2
Gannet 1
Arctic tern 2
Sanderling 200
Dunlin 20
Ringed plover 10

A fantastic, exhilarating visit to Blackdog. The scoter flock were reasonably close and the surf scoter were my best ever views by a mile. They were easy to pick out but quite difficult to stay on because they kept bobbing up and down in the swell, sometimes disappearing for a few minutes before reappearing in exactly the same spot!

For years my only experience of surf scoter was a tiny black dot miles out at sea from Penmaenmawr off the North Wales coast, and because of that it's become a bit of a mythical bird for me. This year I've done really well for the species and I just can't get enough of looking through these scoter flocks..

Sanderling. Pick out the dunlin.


Part of the scoter flock.

A selection of photos showing the scoter flock. At least one surf scoter is in most of these photos.

Spot the velvet scoter.

Blackdog. You can just make out Blackdog Rock in the distance.

Here it is a bit closer.

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