Saturday, 28 January 2017

Woodhall Spa twitching White-billed Diver

After my initial attempt to see this bird on Wednesday ended in failure after the bird decided to swim too far up river for me to reach in my limited time-frame, I knew I would have to go back and try again. My Wednesday attempt did get me a yeartick of Waxwing when a small flock of 8 flew over my head as I walked up the river, so thats something worth noting. 
Today's twitch was far more successful, the bird showing very well as soon as I arrived on site, and continuing to show for the three hours I spent with it. White-billed diver is obviously an extremely rare bird, but to see one inland like this is even rarer. Its gives the opportunity to see a bird up close in a way that you might not get otherwise. 
The bill is obviously the main feature that stands out from the first moment you see the bird. Its just so massive on the front of the birds face. The light was not ideal for photos but I managed a few that I am happy with, mainly using digiscoping. Its still a technique I'm working on with my new camera so I failed to get as many photos as I wanted, but I still got enough to be happy with.
-White-billed Diver
White-billed Diver is the final representative of the bird order Gaviiformes, the divers, meaning that it is the first bird order that I have now seen all global representatives. And I've had the fun of being able to see them all up close and really get to grips with. 
There was not much of a supporting cast, the best of it being a pair of distant Whooper Swans and a small flock of Yellowhammer on a garden feeder. Still a cracking day out though, and a great bird to see.

Species List:
Woodhall Spa: White-billed Diver, Cormorant, Goosander, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Moorhen, Coot, Little Grebe, Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Yellowhammer, Bullfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, 

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