31 Mar 2007
Peregrine's Birding Facts A Cuckoo can lay an egg in 9 seconds
It was a beautiful afternoon and I went out to Killard with Pickle. The afternoon was memorable for two reasons. First I was scanning the sea with my binoculars when I caught sight of three Eider Duck, two male and one female. At that point I tried to get closer to the shore which at that point is quite difficult as there are about a hundred yards of very rocky shoreline. It is covered in seaweed and the rockpools I would almost disappear in if I fell in let alone knows what would happen to my camera.
As I got closer I noticed a third white bird amongst them and realising it wasnt a duck i was rapidly thinking what it could be. At that point it sort of stood up and flapped its very short wings just like a Guillemot before sitting back down on the water and diving.
I tried at this point to take some photos. I only had my 400mm lens with me and no converter so it appeared very small in the frame. I noticed it had a red beak and red legs. Click on photo for bigger image. I watched it for a while but Pickle kept on coming to me and getting perilously close to the swell coming in over the rocks.Sometimes birding and walking the dog do not work well together.
Since coming back I have found out that it would be a very rare occurence to see a Leucistic version of one of these birds. I also have been told that Birdwatch Magazine might print a copy of it if the resolution is high enough in their monthly updates of rare and unusual birds.
The second reason for the day being memorable was that Pickle actually caught a rabbit for the second time and she was flying when she caught it.
So a good afternoon was had by both of us!!