Spent most of the day at the harbour, around five hours. I won’t bore you with the total chronology of events, or the minutia of every species I saw and in what order, I’ll just give you the highlights.
Firstly, I arrived at the harbour, and noticed that instead of the regular single Shag swimming around inside, there were three, with approximately another ten just outside the harbour. First time I’ve seen more Shags than Cormorants here, or indeed, anywhere. In fact, this is the most Shags I’ve ever seen together.
I walk round, noting the lack of big gulls, as well as twenty-three Purple Sandpipers on the roost. I also manage to get quite a reasonable picture of a House Sparrow sat on one of the lobster pots, which is where they seem to spend most of their day.
Near the mouth of the harbour is a Red-Throated Diver. I snap a picture, but it is no better than the last picture of this species that I posted, so I haven’t included it. Near the Red-Throated Diver, however, is a Great Northern Diver:
And I manage to take a recognisable enough picture for the blog. I also, later in the day, get a bit of footage of it swallowing and diving. Notice the diving style, this could be important later in the film.
After congratulating myself for finding the diver, I leave, only to get a text mere seconds later informing me that there is also a Black-Throated Diver in South Bay. I come back, and scope the diver in the surf from the harbour – a lifer for me! After watching it distantly for a while, I decide to head round to the beach to try and get a better view. By the time I get to the beach, however, the diver has moved quite close to the harbour, basically where I was stood scoping it minutes before. Pleasingly, there was another birder on the beach who was trying to photograph the diver, and he had just spotted a Slavonian Grebe:
Which was quite nice. I go back to the harbour and re-find the Black-Throated Diver, and obtain the following picture:
As well as the following footage:
An obliging Shag came quite close to the harbour wall, so I got a short bit of video of it diving. If you’re in the mood, you can contrast the diving styles of the Shag and the two divers shown in this post. Notice how the divers just sort of flop forwards into the water, whereas the Shag does a very neat little jump-and-dive:
The harbour was indeed the place to be in Scarborough today. Probably the best show of this year, though there was a day in January with Great-Northern Diver, Iceland Gull & Red-Breasted Merganser. Close run thing, really.
Also, because I forgot to mention it further up, I spotted two colour-ringed Turnstones and got photos of them both:
I’ll post the details on here when I find out about the records.