Thursday, 21 January 2016

Scaup 21/01/16

Having reviewed all the additional photos of the Scaup ssp, showing the bird from multiple angles, the bird is certainly a Greater Scaup, the marine cousin of the more familiar Tufted Duck.

1st winter drake Scaup
The Scaup was once a fairly common winter visitor to the Wirral coastline and could be observed in flocks numbering in the there hundreds off Caldy, Hilbre Island, West Kirby and Hoylake. But since the 1970's  numbers of Scaup around Wirral have plummeted to such an extent that the Scaup is now only seen occasionally off Hilbre Island and rarely on the marine lakes at West Kirby and New Brighton.

1st winter drake Scaup
When I first took up the Docks as a patch I made a list of birds that I was hoping to see within my first full year: Black Redstart, Great Northern Diver, Common Scoter, Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull and more. I never would of thought that Scaup would have ever turned up at the Docks.

1st winter drake Scaup
The observer who first found the bird relocated the *Scaup* this morning on the East Float in amongst the Grebe flock, which is stretched across from the Tower Quays over to the Clock Tower.

I popped down to the Docks after school where the *Scaup* was roosting with the remaining 27 Great crested Grebe, as some birds have already started returning to there breeding grounds, in front of the College.

There wasn't a single gull present at the Gull Roost this evening on the West Float, but there was an immense flock of 91 Lapwing containing 3 Redshank, along with 4 Shelduck, 4 Cormorant (3 sinensis 1 carbo), 3 Heron and 7 Canada Geese.

Observers: Elliot Montieth

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