It spent ages doing suchlike, in fact over two hours or more, quite often swimming to within four hundred metres of observers, Chris Birding obtaining the remarkable image below - the best image I have ever seen of the species.
At around 1220 hours, the RAF on training exercises flew low over Filey, spooking the Scoter and it dived strongly to the south. Some 45 minutes later, I and 437 others arrived from Arndale, after enduring a near 15 minute journey across from Brid Harbour in NE Yorkshire - and the mood went from exultation to despondency. Was it to be a repeat of the Spurn Icterine Warbler where both MJDRBD and I missed that mega by the same time period after trying to twitch 'on the cheap'?. Although I had seen two Surf Scoters before in Britain (both in the Northern Isles), I had resorted myself to a classic dip and was in depressive overload. A number of us split up and explored different areas but after four seconds of doing this, I eventually became so depressed (particularly after hearing of some blokes life-thrilling experiences) that I decided to wander back to town and commit suicide.
Just as I was about to jump off the cliff, a middle aged man relocated it in Filey Bay, where it had been all morning, an astonishing 20 metres south of where it had last been seen. Pandemonium set in as we all lifted our bins to our eyeballs. This seemed to take a lifetime but finally my bins were actually at my eyeballs. I looked through them and there it was! A drake Surf Scoter! That's 178 for the year.
At last it felt good to be alive, although sleep deprivation over the past 2 hours was having some serious affect. Also, the ice cream van beckoned at 1600 hours, and reluctant as it was, we had to pull ourselves away and leave this clown-billed perspicillata for others to enjoy.
Thanks for that cracking read.
So yes, a drake Surf. A cracking bird that shows really well for a seaduck if you know what I mean.
I 'needed' Surf for Yorkshire. A bit tarty I know, but I was trying to think of other records. Not that many for a no-longer-a-BBRC-rarity I believe. Scarborough a few years ago. Not many though.
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