Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Poor Diver

Today I woke up around noon(....) and been trying so hard to decide whether to go out birding or not. I then decided to check the Spa Beach first, so I walked out to the balcony and that was when I saw a strange blackish living thing lying on the beach. I then picked up my binocular and was suddenly wide awake when I saw that it was a Loon/Diver, definitely a lifer for me since I've yet to see any loon species before. I quickly grabbed my gear and went out to get it.
The bird was very tame. I guess it was extremely exhausted and was blown up here by the wind and the storm last night. I walked back to my room to check what species it is, and it's a non-breeding(turning into a breeding) Black-throated Loon (Gavia artica). The bird has some black marks on its throat indicating new summer feathers. I then walked back to the beach to get some more photos and was shock to see what was happening.

A group of young boys was trying to catch the bird. It then quickly made itself down to the sea and swam away. I followed the bird to the harbour nearby. It became more active and started to dive for food.

Note white flanks, block-shape head and large bill

It finally caught a big fish, but that seemed to be the problem. The fish just stuck in its throat and no matter how hard the bird tried to swallow it down, it just couldn't. I really wanted to help it though there's no way for me to possibly do that. The bird just looked so uncomfortable.

That looks really uncomfortable.

As I said, it was really tame!

While being very fast underwater, it looks crippled on land. The legs are set at the ending tip of the body, so it can't walk at all. All it can do is using those webbed feet to push its body a very funny way, I have to say lol. After it caught one fish, which apparently still couldn't eat, the bird swam back to the same place where it was lying at the beach and rested there until the rain come and I just had to go back to my room, leaving it sleeping in the rain. Hope it'll still be fine until tomorrow.

It's still trying to swallow down the fish!


Phil said...

A sad story. Looks like it had some obstruction in the throat that it swallowed previously? I hope there is a happy ending for your pictures.

Russell said...

Wondeful pictures and story. I hope it recovers from this state.

martesorex said...

It looks not so fine.
I hope it recover.

But you had good opportunity to take photo of Black-throated Diver which was identified by its no-chin-band.

Stu said...

Wow and I thought I could get close to a Diver last month!