Oddly comforting to think that all over the country birders have been sneaking out into their yards and gardens to listen for Common Scoters in the dead of night.
“Noc-migging” is the big coronovirus thing of course, with a huge nocturnal movement of Common Scoters reported a few days ago.
There’s a typically in-depth article on Birdguides about it here.
Popping out to admire the moon, (hence the picture on this entry) but really straining your ears for the peeping piping calls of migrating scoter overhead is great fun.
I had a listen last night without success (the passage is probably slowing now, and the skies were very clear), but they were going over Dempsey Towers in numbers on Thursday night, and I’m sure the odd groups will still come through over the next few weeks.
There’s a fine piece with recordings from Simon Gillings here if you need help learning the flight call.
Thousands sit offshore at Ainsdale from June to March obviously, so the usual encounter with the species is more like a long range black pudding blizzard:
It’s wonderful to think of them winging across the country in the dark heading for breeding grounds in northern Europe.
Even though the scoters weren’t playing last night, the resident Pipestrelles were out feeding and an Early Thorn dropped in too – almost mothing time now…
Keep on letting me know what you’re seeing – and hearing.