After yesterday's visit to Slimbridge, I had to decide what to do today. It's the last week of my holiday, so I want to make the most of it before returning to work. After a quick look at the blogs, forums and birdguides, I thought it would be nice to get the local Long Tailed Duck and the Great Northern Divers. Yes, I have already seen them, but not in 2013!
I picked up Pete and we headed for Shustoke first. The Great Northern Divers were very obliging, with both of them showing well. They were distant, light was poor and it started to drizzle as we arrived. Two consecutive days of sunshine is asking a bit much I suppose.
Views through the scope were great, but couldn't use scope for pictures as both birds were diving too frequently, and I couldn't get the scope on them, focused, and then hand hold the phone to the eyepiece fast enough. The limitations of digiscoping, basically anything that won't keep still!
So, I resorted to the camera, which handheld is much faster to get on the subject. Full digital zoom in poor light, it was never going to be good. It wasn't good. A record shot I suppose. Distance was easily over 170 yards.
We then headed off to Dosthill. After negotiating the mud we arrived at the lakeside and within five minutes the Long Tailed Duck was located. It was taking a rest from feeding and was very obliging, spending a good few minutes on the surface preening.
Long Tailed Duck (female) Phonescoped at a distance of about 110 yards in poor light.
A very enjoyable morning. Good birds, good company and the 2013 year list is off to a very good start.