Work took me up north on Monday, though not quite north enough for my liking!
This was my opportunity to see the White-winged Scoter that's been lingering off Blackdog/Murcar, as i didn't twitch it due to my work visit. After setting off at 3:30 and arriving in Aberdeen at 9:30 we then found we couldn't actually start the job until Tuesday morning, which gave me all day to look at ducks. I made for Murcar golf club and set up station overlooking a sizable Scoter flock, obviously no White-winged (well not to my eyes anyhow) but an Adult and 1s drake Surf Scoter was very nice as well as my best views of Velvet Scoter. What i hadn't realised was that i wasn't in the correct attire when it rained, so i got well and truly soaked. So off to the B&B to change then back out late afternoon to try my luck from Blackdog. Again a drake Surf Scoter and this time the flock, considerably smaller was quite close in, again no sign of the White-winged and again i got bloody soaked! (mental note to self : must pack rain mac) To make matters worse a Black Scoter was then picked up later that evening, ah well always tomorrow.
Busy, busy, busy at work yesterday, finally getting finished just before 6pm. So back to the B&B, shower and change and back to Blackdog, this time in glorious sunshine (no mac needed). Of course you turn up to be told by birders on site "the Black Scoter's just flown down the coast" bloody typical. As birders moved off to Murcar i stood my ground with 3 others and sure enough the flock came back to there resting place off Blackdog. As the flock grew so did our chances of picking up the bird and after some 30 minutes scanning the flock it was picked out showing very well at a distance, much better views than the distant llanfairfechan bird. Quite a striking bird with an almost bull necked appearance and very round headed, also noted was a slight brownish wash to the chest and flanks. Most noticable was that it was virtualy impossible to pick out when the sun went in, it was even difficult to see the Velvet's. Very smart bird though and just a shame i am not a dab hand at digiscoping as the results would have been much better. No WW Scoter but some very nice year ticks.