Friday, 31 March 2017

Ebony or Ivory.......

Iceland Gull and 70 Pink feet were from Whitburn Obs this morning. It was a very pleasant watch with loads of variety and a nice early Swallow south. My March year listed total ended on 113 better than the 108 last year so on track.
Just over a week ago I blogged about a large Diver that could have been White Billed so i thought i might give a bit more detail of what i saw as that blog has had a lot of hits.
Pink Floyd called a Diver north and i got my scope on it and said its a large Diver. That is Obs speak for its not a Red throat so everyone will look at it. It was passing at a nice distance and a second smaller Diver was flying directly under it. My first impressions were of an average size Great Northern one of the other observers said it was a Black-throated but i said not it was a big diver. For some reason i started at the feet and worked back to front checking it out. Its feet were not particularly large and certainly not club like as some White-billed I've seen. Its belly wasn't massive either in fact nothing was remarkable about it. I noticed some white starting to come through on its mantle and back and was surprised not to see any obvious neck collar. When i got to its bill it was getting well north and i was a bit taken aback as it was ivory, not dark or grey. It had its bill held open in flight a feature i have seen on the majority of White-billed but i have seen once on a Great Northern.
I put the news out in the hope that someone further north would clinch it but both sites who reported it just said possible as i had. Why did i not notice the ivory bill earlier....don't know
This is what we had today in order of appearance

Friday 31st March 06.30-10.15 S2 8/8

Grey Partridge calling
Common Gull 117n 24s
Black h Gull 1n 28s
Eider 6n 12s
Fulmar 21n 7s
Common Scoter 21n 2s
Alba Wagtail 13s
Cormorant 8n 26s
Yellowhammer calling
Gannet 6n
Grey Wagtail 3s
Red th Diver 2n 3s
Meadow Pipit 11s
Shelduck 1n 3s
Swallow 1s
Wigeon 2n
Chiffchaff 1 calling
Turnstone 26s
Pink footed Goose 70n
Teal 2n
Sandwich Tern 1s
Greylag Goose 3n
Wood pigeon 5s
Shoveler 1s
Kestrel 1s
Sky Lark 2s
Shag 3n
Ringed Plover 1s
Pied Wagtail 1n 4s