Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Llanfairfechan Black Scoter 2003-2007

Following the Morfa Bychan Scoter, a fair point regarding the Llanfairfechan bird has risen. Did anyone actually see it well enough to rule out an aberrant Common scoter or a hybrid?
The Lancs Jenny Brown Point bird was seen at extremely close quarters and was a definite American Black Scoter - was this the Llanfair bird? It turned up a month after the llanfair bird finally disappeared.

I hope Alan Lewis, Steve Young or Andrew Lawson don't mind me using their old photos (contact me and give me a telling off if you do) of the Llanfairfechan bird. Can anyone say with any certainty that this is a Black Scoter? Did anyone see it better than this? I remember the Llanfair bird having a different structure and profile and it even seemed to sit higher in the water than all the other Common Scoter
There are some interesting birds here -

The Bulbjerg, Denmark 14/08/2011 bird looks no differernt to the Morfa Bychan bird to me, while the bill on the presumed 1st year male West Branch Forest Preserve April 1,2008 bird has no bulge at all in the culmen.

The Stag Rock, Bamburgh 14/04/2011 bird shows how I remember the structure of the Llanfair bird; the way it appeares higher in the water and looks slightly butcher.

Very informative bird Chris and well done for calling it. We've certainly all learnt from it. One things ofr sure, it'll take a very very brave birder to call a Black scoter amongst the Llanddulas flock in the future!

1 comment:

  1. Cheers Marc, can see in the pix some shape and structural differences between the two. I must have had UTVs at the time! Or at least UT memories of it! The thing I can't see on the Morfa bird is the black bulge at the base of bill which would affiliate it's bill at least structurally closer to Common but like has been said the yellow doesnt cut off sharply at the tip end.