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Black Throated Divers

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Old Wednesday 10th January 2018, 09:04   #1
Darkus_Markus
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Black Throated Divers

Hello,

Itís an ambition of mine to see a summer plumage Black Throated Diver this year.

I live in London, and noticed there was one at Abberton Reservoir last May.

I realise that thereís always a possibility of seeing one down here in the south but thatís always going to be quite a random occurrence.

Iím wondering if anyone can recommend quite a specific location where I'm most likely to see one / some ?

Iím considering a trip to the Cairngorms in the summer, and Iíll be travelling to the Danish island of Bornholm in June so could potentially make a detour to areaís not too far from Ystad in Sweden.

Any help much appreciated.
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Old Wednesday 10th January 2018, 09:25   #2
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You may not get specific information on the open forum regarding breeding areas, as they're so much at risk from eggers.

We had a Scottish Bash in the Nethybridge area some years ago and found 4 on a loch near there, but for the life of me I can't remember where it was. Generally, I think, you'd probably have more luck seeing one further north-west. They could be on any loch, but Red-throated would be more common.

Please, people, use the PM system for any specifics.
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Old Wednesday 10th January 2018, 10:32   #3
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Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
You may not get specific information on the open forum regarding breeding areas, as they're so much at risk from eggers.

We had a Scottish Bash in the Nethybridge area some years ago and found 4 on a loch near there, but for the life of me I can't remember where it was. Generally, I think, you'd probably have more luck seeing one further north-west. They could be on any loch, but Red-throated would be more common.

Please, people, use the PM system for any specifics.
You don't need to reveal breeding areas. A spring staging area, anywhere that has the species after/during moult before they migrate.

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Old Wednesday 10th January 2018, 11:51   #4
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I've seen such pre breeding full plumaged birds in Largo Bay if memory serves, late March/early April. Just off shore in beautiful light, flat calm sea. I can close my eyes and picture it perfectly, even if my recall of precise location, date & year are a little wobbly....
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Old Wednesday 10th January 2018, 18:09   #5
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Had a cracking view of a pair in full breeding plumage at Aultbea Harbour last year.

Rich
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 10:22   #6
Darkus_Markus
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Thanks guys, all sound great. A good starting point to plan some visits in there.
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 18:15   #7
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Why don't you just visit the breeding grounds, you'll get stunning views on a lake in e.g Finland plus lots more stuff besides?

One of the highlights of last summer for me was during our camping trip to the Arctic. We were sat by the campfire on a wonderful lake at about 10pm when a bird flew in and sat calling on the lake which was a first for me, never heard any Diver vocalise in life.


A
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 22:01   #8
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Why don't you just visit the breeding grounds, you'll get stunning views on a lake in e.g Finland plus lots more stuff besides?

One of the highlights of last summer for me was during our camping trip to the Arctic. We were sat by the campfire on a wonderful lake at about 10pm when a bird flew in and sat calling on the lake which was a first for me, never heard any Diver vocalise in life.


A
You can see them at RSPB Loch Ruthven, so Andy is right go to the breeding grounds, although not quite as far as Finland.

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Old Saturday 13th January 2018, 05:52   #9
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You can see them at RSPB Loch Ruthven, so Andy is right go to the breeding grounds, although not quite as far as Finland.

David
Though, bare in mind, factoring in advance booking, it is entirely possible that you could get return flights to Helsinki (or elsewhere in the nordics) as cheap as driving up to Scotland and back (depending on where you're driving from of course), whilst yes, getting a few more nice species than you would not get in Scotland. Do the maths, put budgets down in a spreadsheet and see which is worth your investment.

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Old Saturday 13th January 2018, 10:40   #10
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Though, bare in mind, factoring in advance booking, it is entirely possible that you could get return flights to Helsinki (or elsewhere in the nordics) as cheap as driving up to Scotland and back (depending on where you're driving from of course), whilst yes, getting a few more nice species than you would not get in Scotland. Do the maths, put budgets down in a spreadsheet and see which is worth your investment.

Owen
Where's Paul when you need him!

I remember some years ago on a small fishing lake in Nottingham, a BtD arrived in autumn I think it was. The lake wasn't big enough for it to take off, the result was that it remained until spring and we were all able to watch it develop in to it's magnificent, summer plumage before it was caught and returned to the coast to be freed.



A

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Old Saturday 13th January 2018, 20:23   #11
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Though, bare in mind, factoring in advance booking, it is entirely possible that you could get return flights to Helsinki (or elsewhere in the nordics) as cheap as driving up to Scotland and back (depending on where you're driving from of course), whilst yes, getting a few more nice species than you would not get in Scotland. Do the maths, put budgets down in a spreadsheet and see which is worth your investment.

Owen
But bear in mind that beer and food will be less expensive in Scotland, and, according to most of the Nordics I’ve met, the beer is better too.

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Old Saturday 13th January 2018, 23:35   #12
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Little Loch Shin. Lairg. They paddle around not 30 feet from shore utterly unfazed by humans.
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Old Sunday 14th January 2018, 05:03   #13
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But bear in mind that beer and food will be less expensive in Scotland, and, according to most of the Nordics Iíve met, the beer is better too.

David
I would raise issue with the smear on beer quality (depending on the beer of course), but not the price. Food prices are fairly equivalent unless eating in a sit-down restaurant, where there is on average a 30/40% higher cost.

You can balance that out by choosing eateries with the very typical and common all you can eat buffets. Swings and round abouts I guess, but as an example, I very recently helped out a couple of young birders from Ireland, whose original intention had been to twitch just Hawk Owl.

http://helhathnobirdies.blogspot.fi/...eland.html?m=1

They went home with a little bit more than that.

Owen
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Old Monday 15th January 2018, 11:37   #14
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if you are in the cairngorm region Lochindorb is worth a go. Also holds breeding red grouse, golden plover and Ospreys regularly fish there.
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Old Monday 15th January 2018, 17:46   #15
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Thanks for the suggestions, ideas and scintillating tales of encounters with this beautiful bird.

In my mind I was planning a trip for a Long weekend at most, which is why Scotland initially seemed more appealing than travelling further afield.

The sheer density of them in Finland sounds amazing, perhaps I need a rethink about how long my trip could be.

As always it comes down to time and money. I’m certainly not an expert birder either, so anywhere where the odds of a sighting are more in my favour is a bonus.

Cheers
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Old Thursday 18th January 2018, 21:49   #16
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If you go to Bornholm in June I think there even might be a chance to see one there. At the Southern Baltic coast regularly there are a few summering birds, some in breeding plumage. At some places (like off Northern Rugia or off peninsula Darss) with luck they can be seen at quite low distance.

I would be surprised if there are none off Bornholm in summer. Question is how to get to know about there favourit places... I don't know.

Still, nothing beats the magic of a calling Diver at the breeding grounds!!!
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Old Friday 19th January 2018, 07:08   #17
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If you go to Finland, they are really confiding on Lake Saami where there is also the endemic inland subspecies of Ringed Seal.
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Old Friday 19th January 2018, 10:44   #18
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If you go to Finland, they are really confiding on Lake Saami where there is also the endemic inland subspecies of Ringed Seal.
You'd need a boat and even then they are very shy. I looked for them at Lake Ladoga in Russia a couple of years ago with no luck.



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Old Friday 19th January 2018, 12:12   #19
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If you go to Finland, they are really confiding on Lake Saami where there is also the endemic inland subspecies of Ringed Seal.
Sorry for being a Grammar Nazi, but I think you mean Saimaa
Anyway, I've had great views of BtD in Finland as well.
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Old Friday 19th January 2018, 12:40   #20
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Don't apologise - I thought I was getting it wrong as I typed it! Anyway, the divers were brilliant from the boat jetty, and the seals were equally brilliant from the boat - saw at least 5 of them hauled out at different spots along the shore.
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Old Friday 19th January 2018, 14:51   #21
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Don't apologise - I thought I was getting it wrong as I typed it! Anyway, the divers were brilliant from the boat jetty, and the seals were equally brilliant from the boat - saw at least 5 of them hauled out at different spots along the shore.
What month?

I suspect that my early May attempt in Russia was a bit too late?

We hired a small motor boat and I drove around the lake for ages. It's a huge lake, in parts, it's like being at sea and it was pretty rough so was extremely cautious about capsizing the boat, all I got was cold and wet.


A
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Old Friday 19th January 2018, 18:10   #22
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Note that Ladoga seals (ladogensis) are different to Saimaa seals (saimensis). You need to see both!

Black-throated Divers and inland Ringed Seals are really not of the same level of difficulty. You can reach diver nesting lakes with Helsinki region public transport, but really need a concentrated and well-informed effort to see the seals.
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Old Friday 19th January 2018, 18:24   #23
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Note that Ladoga seals (ladogensis) are different to Saimaa seals (saimensis). You need to see both!

Black-throated Divers and inland Ringed Seals are really not of the same level of difficulty. You can reach diver nesting lakes with Helsinki region public transport, but really need a concentrated and well-informed effort to see the seals.
I was aware of that Jalid though they are as I understand it, only races?

I was also aware that the Seals can be hard to see, advice on timing would be welcome.

Thanks, A
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