Saturday, 22 February 2014

Winter Birds

Many thanks to Kilchoan Early Bird for these pictures of a young great northern diver - also called a great northern loon in North America - preening itself in the sea off Ardnamurchan.  He's making a thorough job of it....

...even if it means half rolling onto his side.  These birds, which are excellent underwater swimmers, catch anything that isn't too big for them, their diet including mackerel, herring, haddock, sprats, sand eels, prawns and crabs.

They're seen off the west coast of Scotland during the winter months, when their haunting cry can be heard, after which they set off for their breeding grounds in Iceland, Greenland and North America.

The Diary keeps informing The Raptor that bullfinches are not to be found in this part of the Highlands, and he keeps saying that he's seen them, even once maintaining that there was one flying around Ormsaigbeg.  Today he sent in these pictures of a bullfinch which he says he spotted at the junction of the Mingary road and the main B8007.

The Diary rather suspects he's been across to the east of Scotland and caught this very smart male there.

Many thanks to Kilchoan Early Bird and The Raptor for the pictures.

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