8 Jan 2014

American Coot, Loch Flemington

Events conspired against me and I missed the long staying Stodmarsh American Coot and the subsequent Shetland & Uist birds were out of my reach at the time. News of a bird on S Uist last year raised my hopes that I'd at last have a chance of catching up with this underrated little bird but it bogged off after one afternoon never to be seen again. American Coot is a mega rarity in the UK with 9 records including the one from S Uist last year. After missing several long-stating birds this was one I'd hoped for in 2014 but certainly didn't expect it quite so soon.

The weekends news of a bird being found on Loch Flemington near Inverness had the team of Big Al, Malc, Groucho & me heading off at 2 am from Cheshire and arriving just as dawn broke on a cold but dry morning.

Almost immediately Mark picked up the American Coot in the gloom and we watched it virtually continuously for the next couple of hours until the light became good enough for a few photographs.

With an Otter also present and a nearby supporting cast of Lesser Scaup, Scaup, more Long-tailed Ducks than I've seen for years and several Black-throated Divers we had a great day but other commitments meant we had to leave for Cheshire only to soon.

So, what next for the year? A Belted Kingfisher would do very nicely in the next month or so.................

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