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!!