Friday, 2 March 2018

Flurry of Excitement

Yesterday I spotted a male Scoter in Cemaes but from a distance it appeared to have a pale patch on the back of it's head. At distance it looked like a Common Scoter but as I kept seeing a pale patch on the back of it's head I was hoping for a first winter male Surf Scoter. As I got closer it became obvious that it was a male Common Scoter, but there was something stuck on the back of it's neck. I got closer to try and get some shots to see what this object was. The bird was occasionally shaking it's head trying to shake whatever it was off. Otherwise it seemed healthy, flew OK and spent all afternoon coming and going in and out of the bay. Even with closer shots I still can't work out what it is. It had the appearance of something between Bracket-fungus and the fluff that comes out of a Bullrush/Reed-mace head. I wasn't sure whether it was some form of growth / tumour or possibly more likely a combination of discarded fishing line/gear or plastic possibly with some old sea-weed or rubbish entangled in there. Has anyone else got any ideas?
 Otherwise it was a nice walk in the wintry conditions, seeing lots of Redwings and a Fieldfare oddly on the beach. Plus some icicles on the sea-cliffs, not a common sight in Cemaes.

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