With only four prior records of this species in the county, then two separate sightings in two days is almost an invasion!
7th November 2016 – Willen Lake
The first birds found were at Willen Lake where local birder Paul Moon came across two smart Velvet Scoters on the south lake. They spent all day on the lake fishing and asleep at times, allowing a lot of local birders to get excellent views of a species usually seen way out at sea. For most people it was a Bucks tick and for some a UK life tick. Viewing was easy from just in front of a pub and fitness centre. The birds remained until the 16th November.
The was some discussion about the sex of these birds and apparently the whiteness of the belly is a factor, so these two pictures are included here. They are video clips of each bird.
Dorney Lake – 8th November 2016
Before heading north to Willen Lake to twitch the Velvet Scoters, Dave Cleal decided to check out one of his local patches, Dorney Lake. Low and behold he found a single Velvet Scoter on the main rowing lake. It was diving and flying around the lake quite a bit. Word was put out quickly and some of the birders who could not get to Willen Lake (plus a few that did) managed to see this individual. This is the sixth county record. The suspicion is that it may have arrived at the same time as the Willen birds, but was unseen the previous day. The bird was last seen by John Edwards on 18th November when it was seen to fly up and down the lake several times before rising high into the sky and flying off south over Berkshire.
The prior county records are.
1890 Linford – 1 killed on 27th Oct
1948 near Iver – Male on 12-13th Dec
1982 Willen – 11 on 9th Jan
2006 Willen – A 1st winter male on 2nd Feb.
All Velvet Scoter photos from Jim Rose unless otherwise stated.