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Biggest Twitch
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Surf birding at Black Rock

Black Rock birders Surf Scoters

We headed down to Black Rock beach.

A female Surf Scoter had been seen at Black Rock beach, Morfa Bychan near Porthmadog. So with Mike and Henry, Alan headed down for a look for this rare visitor from North America. Conditions looked good with calm sea and overcast skies, if it is sunny viewing is difficult here. Arriving on the beach, telescopes were quickly set up and scanning commenced. Amazingly the second bird Alan looked at through his Leica scope was an immature Surf Scoter! But even more surprising was that the bird next to the Surf Scoter looked the same! Surely not? Both birds dived and Alan noticed that one bird opened its wings just as it dived, the other did not. Did we have an Eider duck and a Surf Scoter? Both birds sufaced and everyone focused and zoomed in for a better look. Mike was sure both birds were Surf Scoters! We watched them carefully and we all agreed - we had not one but two Surf Scoters in our scopes.

Surf Scoters Black Rock

A very bad picture of the two Surf Scoters!

It was very interesting to watch these two Surf Scoters over a lengthy spell, one bird consistantly dived opening its wings as it went under the other did not open the wings. The field guide states Surf Scoters "half-open wings on dive" - it seems this feature is variable!

There were plenty of other birds including two very close Great northern Divers, many Red-throated Divers, Great crested Grebes, Common Scoters, Red-breasted Mergansers, Sanderling, Knot and best of all a lovely adult Little Gull. This little beauty was feeding along the edge of the incoming tide allowing amazing views.

Little Gull Black Rock 1

Little Gull swept back and forth - a stunner!

On the way home a quick stop at Caernarfon and a Black Redstart was enjoyed on the roof-tops, another top bird.

Come and join us soon for great birds in lovely places, simply drop us a line...

For details of all our day trips and tours and to book your great birdwatching adventure.


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