Sunday, 18 December 2011

Divers at Dover (again)

With the report from Chidders of a red throated diver in the harbour and little going on elsewhere  another trip to Dover seemed the best bet. Things didn’t start too well though because I hadn’t even reached the Prince of Wales pier when I found Chidders and Adam returning from the pier – no sign of any divers.  Adam pushed off to Dungeness and Chidders joined me in another look around the harbour.
In the main harbour I could see 21 great crested grebes (which increased to 24 by the time I left) and a bit further out there was a guillemot. Eventually Mark spotted a/the red throated diver in the cruise terminal basin. It never came very close and we were always looking into the sun so only a few record shots were taken.
Red-throated Diver
With us standing by the railings of the pier a kittiwake swam in in the hope of some food. It didn’t get any from us but it did provide a subject for the camera.
 Due to us looking somewhat into the sun and the bright white of the bird some interesting pictures were obtained whilst trying to prevent the white bits being over exposed.
After we had tired of the kittiwake we went along to the lifeboat station finding the resident guillemot almost immediately but too far away for a picture. As the tide was out the gates to the marina behind the lifeboat station were shut and it was in there we found the great northern diver just cruising around a doing a bit if fishing. On one of its dives it came up with a small flatfish but it didn’t eat it immediately. It kept letting it go then pecking at it vigorously – I can only assume it was killing it. After several minutes it stopped playing with its food and down it went.
Great Northern Diver
There was a cormorant in the marina with the GND but it soon departed:

So only the normal fare but as often happens at Dover you do get the opportunity to take some photographs.

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