Friday, 16 October 2015

The Marine Ducks of the Dee

So, with my new camera in hand, I needed some avian targets to train it on, getting decent pictures of birds for the first time in my life being the main reason I'd bought it.

Was this in mind, I thought striding along the East side of the Dee estuary would be the best place to spot some interesting waders and sea birds, as the river here, within a peninsula known as St Mary's Isle, consists of a series of shallow bays where the beakily probe-able mud gets quickly exposed after the tide turns.

However, waders were not numerous, I found. What were present were some large groups of gulls, including some devilish looking great black backed gulls, and also sizeable rafts of marine ducks.

They were a fair way off, so even with the camera at 36x zoom, it was difficult to see what I was shooting. I thought at the time I was shooting common scoter, the only all black duck is always going to be pretty unmistakeable, but the identify of other species I wasn't so sure of. I could see a few white flanks, so I thought there might be scaup out there, but I can't see any in my pictures.

What there were, was a lot of wigeon it transpires! Anyone who spots anything else in my shots, please please shout out!


All images and text copyright CreamCrackeredNature 16.10.15


  1. glad you're enjoying your new camera. i love wigeon, such pretty ducks, specially in their autumn plumage.

    velvet scoters are (more or less) all black too, and at Musselburgh (where I regularly birdwatch) they're more common than common scoters.

  2. Velvet scoters have yellow beaks though, and I don't see any of those in any of my shots!

    Thery aren't great, I'm just glad my ducks have come out looking like identifiable ducks at a range of 100m

  3. I have enjoyed reading your recent posts of Kirkcudbright and all of the history etc! My one and (as yet) only trip to Scotland was in 2010, we stayed in Kippford, D & G and travelled miles and miles during the week long stay! It was a holiday to remember!

    Enjoy having fun with your new camera Si!

  4. Isn't it always the way? I often regret not bringing a camera along and have missed some great photo opportunities. Just when you get yourself all set up to snap away, you find they've gone elsewhere!

  5. Thanks Pam and Suzy! I'm not done yet either, been a very busy boy!