Saturday, June 14, 2014

Long-tailed Ducks in the bay

Another summer, another season monitoring the bay, with the bonus of finding and enjoying various collateral when circumstances allow. Although still early, a couple of days ago I thought I'd check for cetaceans from Carr Naze, and within ten minutes I was watching the year's first Minke out in the calm waters; within the hour, my wife Amity had joined me and we'd a total of three in view. Hopefully a harbinger of things to come over the next few weeks and months....

While scanning for whales, I picked up these two very smart Long-tailed Ducks distantly off the Brigg; happily, they've appeared intermittently since, and yesterday morning ventured well into the bay corner, despite boat traffic and a lot of shoreline disturbance.

After an adult male in summer plumage almost exactly two years ago, it's the second summer in three I've recorded LTDs in the bay. With few (if any) previous summer records, whether it signals a change in status or is just a reflection of increased coverage is open to debate (with the same question applying to the the sudden upsurge in cetacean activity).