Monday, April 24, 2006

King Eider at Irvine, Ayrshire

Having missed the Easter holiday back home in Ayrshire I made a brief visit at the weekend. Luckily the fabulous King Eider (very rare sea duck from the Arctic & Iceland) was still around. Despite having been present for a couple of weeks there were still around 20 birders (mostly from south of the border) on Saturday morning. The bird was showing well but I didn’t want to upset anyone by sneaking out along the rocks with my DLSR kit. High tide on Sunday morning was around 0800h so I arrived at 0700h hoping for the bird all to myself. However, the King must have been having a long lie this morning as he did not show up until after 0900h. It remained distant all morning so a few of us went out along the rocks but some mindless idiots (who incidentally should not have been in the vicinity of the harbour mouth) on jet skis scared the life out of everything in the area and the bird flew out to sea with the small flock of Common Eiders. In the end I only came away with some poor, distant record shots.

Still, spending several hours on the Firth of Clyde was very refreshing with Gannets, Sandwich Terns, Red-throated Divers, Red-breasted Mergansers and a good passage of White Wagtails. Got many nice shots of the Stonechats in the dunes near Troon and I may use one of them for the cover of the Ayrshire Bird Report 2005 which should be available by early June.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice Stonechat images. I also saw the King Eider last weekend... great bird!