Saturday, 4 April 2015

Scotland (part one)

Five hundred and thirty miles for one duck? No I'm not that bad, well, not quite. That said I did twitch a duck that distance from my home... In my defence I was in Scotland anyway, so it would have been rude not to go. And, it was a drake Harlequin Duck, that justifies it.
 I'd headed up to Glasgow on the Saturday (28th) and spent a couple of nights there before continuing the rest of my six day trip to Scotland by journeying a few hours further north to Aberdeen for the Harlequin Duck. We got to Seaton Park before 11am and although there was a ridiculously cold wind, it was a nice bright spring winter's day. Upon arriving at the river Don, three ducks flew by, the two at the back I have no idea what were, I was a little distracted by what was at the front. Yes, it was the Harley!!! It continued past and disappeared around a bend in the river. A mega warms even the coldest of days.  The day got warmer and warmer as we tried to find Papermill Drive, I then began then to regret the giant coat I was wearing, oh for that chill wind.
Papermill Drive has seemed a favourite spot for the Harlequin during it's long stay on the Don, and after about five minutes of searching here we had it showing reasonably well. I spent a couple of hours photographing it, and eventually got some great views. It's beginning to look rather nice now that it's moulting into summer plumage.  It'll be a hard duck to top!

 Generally it stayed mid-river, but on one occasion did come down to 15 foot, unfortunately the light was bad, and you know how it is when a mega pops up right in front of you, keeping your hands from shaking isn't easy!
 The Don is a great river, while I was there I also saw plenty of Goosander and Grey Wagtail and even an Otter swimming upstream!
The next four days of my trip to come...


  1. Enjoyed reading your blog post Gideon. Looking forward to reading about the rest of your Scotland trip.
    I made the trip to Aberdeen on Friday, unfortunately it rained throughout my time at Seaton. Not good for photos but still a pleasure to watch my first Harlequin!

    1. Hi Jim, thanks for the comment. Glad you got to see it, even if the weather wasn't great, how well did it show for you?

    2. It showed really well eventually. It was down river of the toilet block when I arrived, but it soon flew back upriver with a Goosander and slowly drifted down. Managed a few photo's so I was really happy.


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