Monday, 30 January 2017

30th January 2017 Sound Gruney, Bluemull Sound

With only needing to work for 'half a day' on Yell today with it being a calm clear morning it seemed an ideal opportunity to take the ferry to Yell via Fetlar to have a look out in the Bluemull Sound. That paid off handsomely when an adult-winter White-billed Diver appeared in view just south of Sound Gruney. Fortunately the ferry passed quite closely and the Diver remained on the surface of the water allowing for a few images to be obtained. Otherwise a blue Fulmar, c.300 Long-tailed Ducks, c.300 Eider, 4 Common Scoter and 2 Glaucous Gulls (ad & juv) were seen.

Eider in Bluemull Sound

Common Scoter in Bluemull Sound

 Adult winter White-billed Diver off Sound Gruney, Bluemull Sound

Only first described in 1859 by George Robert Gray in Proc. Zool. Soc. London 27:167. ‘Description of a new species of Diver’ that can be read by courtesy of the brilliant online biodiversity library by scrolling to p.167. Then appeared the fascinating 15 page account ‘On the Occurrence of White-billed Diver in Norway’ by Prof. R. Collett in Ibis in 1894 that also detailed notes on its identification, ageing and included the above colour plate.