Lower Largo - Stejneger's scoter
Travelling long distances to twitch a bird is not something I particularly do but missing the grey-headed lapwing due to other commitments was a little frustrating. In an attempt to compensate for this, the eight hour drive to Lower Largo north of Edinburgh left enough time for a bonus couple of hours to maybe connect with the stejneger's scoter when the plan was actually to spend the following day at this lovely site.
A small group were pouring through the rafts of scoter, hundreds of them, common scoter, dapper velvet scoter and a few eider. The first nearctic scoter seen was the white-winged scoter; slightly different appearance lacking the diagnostic 'knob' but a really nice bird.
The evening was drawing in, and most of the group had left leaving myself and another chap to take on the challenge. Scoping out to sea, scanning through each scoter and then clocking onto the bird was a satisfying moment, too distant for the camera, but more than satisfactory through the scope, the long journey was definitely worthwhile.
Returning again the next day, the 'stej' was still present. Thankfully the weather on both occasions was perfect, mild, light, winds. Very pleasant.
Deciding to head away, I made for the Lake District to see the hooded merganser. Was really in two minds about this one as its credentials as a genuine wild bird are always stacked against it. Not initially visible, it took a while for it to appear. Was nice to see and have noticed that many birders have stuck it on their lists - I just can't do it - unless someone tells me otherwise...