After a fish supper in Anstruther I was dropped off at Shell Bay and walked the short distance to Ruddon's Point. If a year goes by when I don't get a few hours winter birding at this fabled spot then something is very wrong indeed. The family had firmly expressed no interest whatsoever in accompanying me to scan through flocks of sea ducks, so they dropped me and went home to bake a cake, promising to pick me up later. Perfect, nobody moaning or telling me to hurry up. Largo Bay is a large bay, and my annual American target is a small bird, so I set up my scope and got scanning. Some years it takes longer, some years it's shorter. Memorably one year I set up my scope and the Surf Scoter was right in the middle of it in perfect focus, I still have no idea how that happened. This year it took about a quarter of an hour, and was once again quite distant, but there was no mistaking his striking head pattern, especially from the back. With Common Scoter, reliably bobbing about for perhaps the sixth year running. I have no idea if it's the same bird, but if you want to see a Surf Scoter year after year, I can't think of many places in the UK better than Largo Bay. Plenty of Velvets as well, and a Slav Grebe, but it was actually quite a choppy day. Some days it's like a lake, and the birding is unbelievable. More challenging today, but just as satisfying even if I didn't see as much.
I spent a bit of time attempting to photograph waders at the mouth of the burn, and then decided that as I had missed most of the walk earlier that I would cross it and walk the length of the beach back to Lower Largo - a pretty lengthy stroll. Plenty of Godwit and Oystercatcher, with Dunlin and Sanderling scooting up and down. All in all a decent day out, and I'm already looking forward to my next visit, whenever that will be.
|Largo Bay looking east from Lower Largo, Ruddon's Point in the distance|