Driving an elderly relative back to Exeter after Christmas can have it's compensations when a quick turn-round and homeward diversion to Portland harbour can provide Brunnich's Guillemot at silly distance from the watching crowds. This is a species I hadn't expected to see in Britain let alone from the mainland in Dorset. A species normally at home in the frozen north amongst the reindeer!
Force 6-7 northerlies brought large numbers of Skuas to the north Norfolk coast on Thursday along with many other migrants and wind-blown waifs. The Great Skua, following in the path of the recent Sooty Shearwater, was also at Grafham Water.
This little gem was first found last Sunday in Bedford when the weather was wet and windy. Each time I've visited the bird has skulked and not shown right for my choice of camera. This morning I decided to take both formats out and managed a few digi-scoped images plus some with my 400mm and 7D. Feeding on black pond snails and enjoying the warm sunshine.
Not seen this brood before but it it likely they have orginated from the Gadsey Brook workings north of the river- seen here on Ouse at Willington. The pan-shot was nice but flawed by two of the birds slightly angled away from me.