Sunday, 8 November 2015

28/5/15 Dock walk

Me and my Granddad usually go to the docks to feed the birds seed and watch the Common and Arctic Terns nesting on the break waters. Whilst he chats to the fishermen I wonder off on a hour walk along the banking's. I have found some good skulls along here including a male Goldeneye. However, I thought I may as well push the time limit as it was a nice day and I felt like I may find some more things further down in a part I hadn't explored before. I hadn't found anything really on my usual banking, so I was hoping this new part would offer up some gifts. I was right!

As soon as I turned the corner, there was a mute swan skeleton, I had seen this one in the dock basin and had been looking for it for some time. However the skull wasn't there. So I continued my walk. There was a female Mallard with eleven ducklings feeding in the grasses, along with two Shelduck. Under a tree I found some black feathers but didn't think much of them. However not so far away, there were more, I found a washed up Cormorant!! I had first found one of these at Cockerham, but I wasn't really into bone collecting then so didn't take it home. So I was very happy when I found this.

I carried on downstream and found three sheep, I don't like taking Sheep skulls, so I left them. However there was a Lesser Black Backed Gull skeleton not so far away, so I took the skull from that. I was supposed to be heading back now but I still felt as if there was something else to find. And again I was right! Next to a log was another bird. It looked like a huge version of a Guillemot. It had a white belly and breast, a greyish head and neck and the feet, beak, back, wings and tail were black. I was torn between a Diver (which was most likely) and a huge Guillemot, as the plumage wasn't really in great shape to judge it by, so I waited for the skull to be cleaned.

It turned out to be a diver. I had just found the Black Throated Diver skull a few months ago, so I was hoping it was a different species. The Black and Red are very similar, so it was a game of spot the difference. After more debating whether it was one or the other, we came to a decision...
It's a Red Throated Diver!!

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