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Common Scoter, Ayrshire Coast, UK (1 Viewer)

bongofury

Well-known member
I only had bins available today while on Cumbrae and looking west from the island I saw a flock c50 of what appeared to be dark brown ducks positioned reasonably tightly together. I could see no stand out features but they had behaviour which I'm hoping points to them being Common Scoter: when they dived they all went under, almost simultaneously and with the minimum of fuss.

I have seen Velvet Scoter at distance before and I can usually make out something distinguishing on them but not one of these birds had any white marks, noticeable legs or eye markings.
 

Stephen Dunstan

Registered User
Sounds like Common Scoter but not sure you have anything diagnostic. One thing they do which is very distinctive is lift out of the water and shake their wings and move their head forward. I haven't described it very well, but when you see it you will know it as something different.
 

bongofury

Well-known member
Thanks Stephen. I didn't see any of that behaviour unfortunately but after repeated trawls through Collins I can't get away from Common Scoter.
 

Caledonian

Well-known member
Could it have been Guillimots? Sometimes I see them also in largs flocks diving simultaneously. The Guillimots that I see right now from Largs are all in summer plumage.

Cheers,
Rik
 
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