Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lady Elvis

Having spent several of my formative years birding the north-east coast of Scotland, I got fairly blase about seeing Elvis, the resplendant male king eider that spent most summers loafing about on the Ythan Estuary & getting jiggy with all those females. It was always a great bird to see, but you'd usually end up bumping into it several times in a year.

Fast forward er a few years and its a different story. Up till today, I'd seen one king eider in Ireland - a male at Lady's Island in August 2008. So, I've been quite tempted by the female thats been loitering around on the Beara peninsula the last few weeks. This afternoon everything fell into place - finished work and Beara was kind of on the way home - give it a lash!

And lashing it was! And the wind was getting up too. Still, I struggled across a field or two and scanned the bay at Cahermore. After a while I noticed a duck. Through the scope I could see it was the queen eider swimming into the bay. A  bit of repositioning and the views were good, although it wasn't long before she turned around and started swimming out of the bay again. Still, I'd had a good look and it was still raining! Four (count 'em!) glaucous gulls were duly counted and I saddled up for home, as conditions deteriorated further.

Queenie herself (Photo: C Cronin)

A grand day out for a Cork tick! Sadly it was too wet to attempt any dodgyscoping, so here's a snap taken the following day by Old Spoons.

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