"Happier of happy though I be, like them I cannot take possession of the sky, mount with a thoughtless impulse, and wheel there, one of a mighty multitude whose way and motion is a harmony and dance magnificent." William Wordsworth
I had distant views of my first Common Scoter (male) on College Lake, Buckinghamshire, 20/10/2011. My second sighting of this species came when this handsome seaduck, blown inland after a night of strong NE winds and rain, turned up on Startop's End Reservoir. This time, the views were a lot closer and I was fortunate to be able to spend some time watching and photographing it. The bird seemed mostly settled, occasionally preening and very infrequently diving and wing flapping. It stayed within a small area of the east/south-east corner.
At sea, a Common Scoter feeds mainly on molluscs but according to the BTO "also insects and fish eggs in freshwater habitats". Below are a series of images from the morning. They are very heavy crops, unfortunately, due to the distance the bird kept from the shore (maybe 80 metres or more), but hopefully give something of a feel for its beauty, features and behaviour.
(In order to read the text accompanying each shot (especially those further down), it's best viewed as is, scrolling down the page, rather than clicking on the images to enlarge them.)