Saturday, 10 November 2012

King eider

Have not seen the sun on the north west coast for 5 or 6 days and the rain has been rather persistent so I felt the need to travel to the east coast to catch up with some sun and a few good birds. Dropped in to pick up Marcus Conway (ebirder) enroute, then headed on to Burghead where the semi- resident king eider has been seen on and off in recent times. I last saw what was presumably the same bird in December 2010 just off the point. On arrival we made a quick check of the inner harbour but the bird was not there on this occasion. Shortly after checking a few flocks of eider from near the point Marcus was quickly on the bird amongst the main flock some 500 metres east of us and just north of the 'maltings'. We quickly relocated and enjoyed some nice views of the bird- although still showing some evidence of his 'eclipse' plumage he is still a cracking bird. Fortunately as the tide was high the bird was within a couple of hundred metres for most of our encounter. (and the sun came out!).

the 'King'

The Moray firth always seems to hold good numbers of birds and we also enjoyed seeing a little auk, common and velvet scoter, long-tailed duck, red-throated divers as well as a few knot, redshank and turnstone.
long-tailed duck
common scoter

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