Sunday, 3 January 2010

Probable Pacific Diver Titchwell

Yes, I have put 'probable' and not 'possible'!
Unfortunately, I did not see the bird (I was over in the broads and decided safety first!), however, it does sound very interesting! As per DA: the bird is a juv, it does not have a chin strap, but then many don't; he observed the beginning of a vent strap, although couldn't be sure that it met - although others say that it did; there was no white 'triangle' on the flanks, observed both whilst swimming and preening. The only issue seems to be the head shape, which appears angular, although the bill size was probably alright.

I am unable to get out there until Tuesday now, but hopefully others will take it seriously enough to check it out tomorrow. It seems that a number of locals have now seen it and find it 'significantly interesting' ie non committal speak for 'it looks good'! But few people traveled any distance!

Norfolk Bird Info to:
Mobile: 07749779149


  1. As someone who hasn't seen it but has heard rumblings...why not a 'small' GND?

    I heard it had a bit of a lumpy head


  2. Interesting thought, hence why that was included in here as part of the info that had been passed on to me. I have seen one record shot of the bird and it has more of a 'Black-throated / Pacific' feel than Great Northern.

    Are these 'rumblings' from anyone who has seen it?

  3. Is the record shot available for public view?


  4. I don't think it was a Great Northern Diver but that thought has crossed my mind - and it did so while I was watching it a few times but I always ended up dismissing it.

    Head shape is my biggest concern for it being Pacific, but the size of the bill - seemed a bit large for Pacific, though not as big as a Great Northern's bill. It certainly didn't have the flanks of a Black-throated Diver and I could see the beginnings of vent strap when it preened, but couldn't see if it joined (someone apparently thought it did).

    It didn't have such an irregular border between the dark back of the neck and the pale foreneck as on Great Northern Diver. Then again there was a forward intrusion of grey at the bottom of the neck - perhaps more than there should be on a Black-throated/Pacific*? The upperparts looked darker than I'd expect on a juvenile Great Northern - at times I questioned whether it was really a juvenile but the scaly pattern was definitely there - I think it's usually more distinct on juvenile Great Northern than Black-throated/Pacific but not sure how good a feature that is. Also I didn't make out the pale around the eye that you get on Great Northern.

    Dunno. Maybe we just got taken in by the 'Black-throated versus Pacific' debate and didn't give sufficient attention to the Great Northern possibility, but I really don't think so.

    * Looking at my photos of the Yorks Pacific I'm not sure the forward intrusion I'm talking about was much more than that showed.

  5. If the record shot was the one I sent Dave then even record shot is a generous description and it would take a brave man to draw any conclusions from it - the bird was rather distant at the time and mostly under water!

    Anyway, if you want to amuse yourself with a couple of completely useless photos, here they are: