Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Red-throated Diver

9th April 2013 - Exeter Canal

About 4pm I was sitting at my desk having just finished correcting rough layouts for a couple of Pterodroma plates. I needed a break and decided I could spare an hour or so to make a quick trip to the 'other side' (of the Exe, that is) to maybe get some photos of this Red-throated Diver. I normally see them at some distance on the sea but this one, evidently liking the fishing in the canal, has been giving very close views for a couple of days or so. I couldn't resist.

No signs of any breeding plumage appearing so not yet in moult; although I suppose it could be a 2nd calendar year bird, which means any newly moulted feathers will look just like those of a winter adult. I noticed a difference in the feathers of the left and right flanks. The left side of the rear of the bird appeared much more disordered, I guess this could be just the effect of wetting but it didn't seem to be the case on the right side. I wonder if it's oil?

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