Sunday, 18 March 2012

multiple Surf Scoters - they're not gay!

The vast flock of Common Scoter was closer in today and viewable from Rainbow Bridge. With the sunlight on them, the plumage features were all very visible with the bright yellow bills of the drakes standing out a mile. Some 25,000 must have been present. The two drake Surf Scoters were soon picked up and much closer than usual straight off the mound looking north. Their colourful bills and head pattern standing out a mile in the excellent light. As has been seen before they were displaying with heads rolled back and chests sticking out. It was then that I realsied that they weren't displaying to each other, but to a female bird - pale double cheek patches, lovely dark big sloping bill and all! The third drake was further out and towards Llanddulas. After all these years of wondering why these two drakes stick together, it seems that our thoughts of a 'gay pair' have been shattered, and that they are both just following a lone female around!
A lovely 1st winter Iceland Gull was amongst the scoters two, dip feeding on the surface, while 5 Velvet Scoters and 2 Eider made up the best of the rest. If you haven't already seen it, this massive scoter flock is well worth seeing. Surely one of the best ornithological spectacles the North wales coast has to offer.

1 comment:

  1. KER-LASSIC title for this post!!

    With this unwarranted intrusion into the private lives of this sordid Melanitta love triangle/foursome, not to mention the (entirely justified) outing of the Purple Sand photgrapher/flusher at Rhos Point, I'm beginning to think that a career change might be appropriate Mr Hughes! Have you ever considered a job with 'OK! magazine' or sourcing guests for Jeremy Kyle ?

    I have to wonder what we'll be hearing once you're armed with the sound recording equipment ;-)

    These recent duck threads have had me pissing with laughter! Kind of balanced out with moping around Manchester and Redwing racing. Thank you all :-D

    ps The scoter flocks are truly amazing - the avian Serengeti of Llandulas...