Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Big Dip.....08.12.2013.

After hearing late on Saturday afternoon that unbelievably 2 Juvenile Ivory Gulls had been found together at Seahouses in Northumberland,it was with great trepidation that Chris and myself made the long journey to hopefully connect with these Arctic waifs.It was a nervy journey to say the least,briefly broken by 3 Red Kite over the A1 near Leeming Bar.After arriving at our destination eventually,there were a few birders looking on the golf course and immediate area where the gulls had been seen the previous day,but after a good hour or so it soon became apparent the birds were not here.So with people still looking here and in the surrounding area we decided to make our way down to the harbour area and we spent the remainder of the day looking hopefully from here.In the harbour itself 4 Eider showed incredibly well at close range and further out over the breakers our first goodies of the trip,4 fem/imm Long-tailed Duck,which showed nicely as they dived for food.Several scans over the sea revealed a couple of female Common Scoter,a handfull of Red-throated Divers and several rafts of feeding Eider and singles of Shag dotted about here and there,when Chris called out a Great-northern Diver feeding distantly.After a couple of scans i managed to get onto the bird as it dived constantly for food,always great to see...slowly we were begininng to dull the pain of missing the Ivory's and it was easy with the stunning Northumberland coastline to look at,with the Farne's,Bamburgh castle and Holy island in view.We continued scanning,adding a flock of 10 Purple Sandpipers to the day's sightings and 4 Pink-footed Geese flew north.As the light began to go we managed to add a further 2 good birds to the day list in the form of fly by Black-throated Divers and a juv Iceland Gull,both of which settled on the sea to no doubt roost.So after an unsuccessfull twitch,we both reflected on what an enjoyable experience it had been still,seeing some nice birds in beautiful scenery and we then made the long journey home.
Female Eider.

Female Eider.

Great black-backed Gulls.



Starling.

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