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Sunday, 12 June 2011

SCOTER present late evening

Big respect to Chris Gibbins, Hywel Maggs and Paul Baxter for finding this fascinating bird.

A few hints for anyone making a long journey. As has been stated, light conditions tend to be more important than state of the tide and so afternoon and evening are usually best. Choppy seas will make things harder and there is virtually no shelter if conditions are bad.

Access by turning off the A90 north of Aberdeen at the turn signed Blackdog. Drive down past the village towards the sea. The lane turns sharp right. Park sensibly at this turn, or follow the lane down to the left (gravel track) and there are some areas where parking is possible of the verge, or else a small very rough car park accessed just off where the lane takes another turn right to the house. If all this full, park sensibly back at the village. Walk straight down onto the beach and then south along the beach. Cross a burn that flows out across the beach and continue another 500 m or so. The bird spent most of today about a mile to the south of Blackdog, off Murcar Golf Course, where there is an old red salmon net on the beach. Best views from on the dunes. It was often not in the main scoter flock but a little closer instead, alone, in among Eiders.

Peak scoter number at this site are from now through to August. Good chance it will stay for a few weeks to moult. At least three Surfies present too (usually in with main scoter flock). Good luck!

Nick Littlewood