Saturday, 21 January 2017

Loony toons

 I almost didn't bother going for the Pacific Diver or Loon as we should call it as all reports were of dot in the distance type but when the bird moved onto Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay CP I reckoned better views would be had and I wasn't disappointed. In fact the bird was ridiculously close.
Those non birders may be having problems finding it in the guidebooks. It (Gavia pacifica) was fairly recently split from Black throated (Gavia arctica) and indeed this bird originally found by TL at Blyth and was ID'd as Black throated till AC called Pacific when better views were finally obtained at East Chevington. The deciding feature in this first winter is the lack of a white patch at waterline toward the flanks and if an adult it would have a distinctive chin strap.
It was a nice neat medium size bird with a distinctive clean diving style but on this occasion rarely staying underwater for significant length of time generally following a circular pattern around the edge of the west end of the lake unperturbed by dogs or the gathered throng.
A splendid addition to the life list

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