Friday, 16 December 2011

Widewater III

The sun came out into a clear blue sky so I dropped everything, loaded the camera and warm clothing into the car and scuttled off to the Widewater for a third attempt at the Red Breasted Mergansers. When I arrived there were no other photographers about and 9 gorgeous Red Breasted Mergansers were feeding contentedly and happy to come fairly close to the camera. Conditions were great, just a very cold breeze from the west to make sure I didn't hang around. The 4 males and 5 females had a definite routine consisting of feed, preen, display then snooze. They seem to have paired up at last and the displays are not so frenetic, but just as fascinating to watch. At around 1130, just as another photographer was setting up, they swam rapidly into the wind, took off in echelon and headed out to sea.

Red Breasted Merganser

Red Breasted Mergansers

Male courtship display

Time to go back to sea
After several days of westerly gales or strong winds there seemed to be quite a collection of Great Cormorants on the small island. They obviously enjoy bathing in fresh (ish) water!

Great Cormorant having a bath!

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