watching blackthroated divers – April’08

The boat skimmed out the river mouth and around the point – onto to the loch, into the breeze. A thin plume of smoke drifted from a bank of Scots Pines on the opposite shore. Scanning, we noticed something red. Moving closer we saw a canadian canoe pulled up on the shore and a tent tucked into the trees. ‘B*****ds’. ‘Bloody campers, its so f****in invitin thats the problem‘. It was an inviting spot for blackthroated divers, and an inviting spot for the campers too. We trawled round the coast- no sight. Blackthroats are very cautious birds. They nest on small islands, liable to flooding. This is the southern part of their range. Their are probably about 150 pairs in the UK, we hope to spot 3 pairs today – but not here.

They sit low in the water, and in the faint misty rain and light wind are very hard to see. We catch a glimpse in one of the favourite spots. Thin elegant necks stretch out, white, thin bands of black, they turn and face and then drift away. Bouncing and humming across the swell we head for the next site.