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Tuesday, 24 November 2009


For all things Cornwall, bookmark Steve Rogers superb site at
Steve's excellent array of images are published above and they portray the beautiful transitional plumaged adult PACIFIC DIVER which is currently visiting Carnsew Basin at the east end of the Hayle Estuary to feed. With patience, the bird can be very confiding, particularly if you hide out of view on the footpath leading up behind the houses in Carnsew Road. Although it flies off mid-afternoon presumably to roost on the safety of the open sea in Carbis Bay, it can be found on the Basin from around 0900 hours. It is presumably the regularly returning bird but has never before returned in such summer splendour. Although it is difficult to assess any difference in bill shape, structure or size from Black-throated Diver, it is flatter in the water and has the characteristic 'chin-strap' and 'vent-strap' and also lacks the diagnostic white rear flank patch of arctica. The fact that it is still in such 'summer finery' is also of real significance.
It was first seen on the Basin on Thursday 12 November but was initially seen by Frederic Jiguet in Mount's Bay, Penzance, at the turn of the month.