This morning I joined a happy band of birding pilgrims from the Isle of Wight Natural History & Archaeological Society on their first official walk of the year. The venue was my local patch - Rofford Marsh & The Western Yar estuary - so I was hoping that many more pairs of eyes and ears would result in some special sightings. In the event, my new 'tick' for the estuary was in plain view in the middle of the marsh: 2 male and 1 female Pintail, one of my favourite duck species.
During the morning I was told that another duck, the female Common Scoter I had found in Freshwater Bay on Boxing Day, was still around and close to shore. Most views of these sea ducks are of black dots rapidly flying close to the water on the distant horizon, so I took the camera down to Freshwater Bay this afternoon to record some footage. The misty weather conditions made it difficult to get good footage, but I'm pleased that you can pretty easily make out what it is! It seems quite at home here feeding on the local shellfish - I wonder how much longer it will stay?