Filey Brigg Velvet Scoter

I'd heard there had been some showy velvet scoters at Filey Brigg and given the only photos of VS I have were taken just after a summer moult I thought it would be a good idea to catch up with one in more smarter plumage.

The drive up was quite uneventful, however the thermometer was reading a balmy 13 degrees so at least I could cast away a layer or two.

As I got closer to Filey it appeared that a fog had descended and theer was some drizzle-not great for photography but I carried on. The climb down the cliffs was interesting and arguably dangerous but once I'm on a mission there's not a lot that gets in the way.

There were quite a few birds in the bay feeding cormorants, one or two gulls, guillemots a single razorbill and a couple of great crested grebes.

I then saw a small flock of black ducks and a quick scan with the bins confirmed a pair of common scoter and a pair of velvet scoter one being a rather smart male.

I made my way out on to the rocks and knowing that the tide was ebbing I got right out to the waters edge and made myself comfortable.

It soon became apparent that the birds were in a bit of a feeding pattern, swimming uptide then diagonally coming towards the shallower water closer in. They went round in this pattern for about 4 times while I was there and coming probably no closer that 40 yards.

My nikon D810 coped quite well and I managed to get some half decent shots in poor light, rain and the birds remained quite distant.

All in all a nice couple of hours of solitude on a very quiet and wet Filey Brigg-most importantly the birds duly obliged for decent views and reasonable photos.

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