A loon in the harbour

I went down to the beach at Wells again this morning, and the main bird activity was in the small marina near the new lifeboat station: There were four little grebes and a few mallards, but then I spotted a diver! Closer inspection showed it to be a juvenile red-throated diver, which was great to see at a reasonably close distance. Divers are sometimes known as loons. Apparently this comes from the fact that although they are superb swimmers (and I always marvel at just how far they can travel underwater and how long they can dive for) they are very clumsy on land as their feet are set far back on the body. Seemingly loon derives from the Norwegian word for clumsy!

A juvenile red-throated diver

Slightly further out toward the main beach there was a great crested grebe in the channel, and then I saw another grebe – a winter plumage red-necked grebe. These are bigger than a little grebe and not much smaller than a great crested, but show different plumage markings in winter than a great crested. This was a species that I put on my 2023 list quite early in the year but then removed when I had a bit of a cull of birds I wasn’t completely happy that I had seen or identified properly. So it’s great to be able to confidently put this back on the list for the year, even though I wasn’t able to get a photo.

Brenda writes: “The light brown apple went elsewhere overnight but I did have one other micro today, Eudonia angustea, along with a December and turnip.”

No new species for November 17th:
Birds: red-necked grebe

Birds = 228
Moths = 256
Wildflowers = 290