Neil did well to get these images. The fact that the bird is so contrasting and dark and has fairly indistinct pale scalloping on the mantle feathers (rather than distinct pale greyish-white edged barred-like feathers) suggests to me that this is an adult in winter plumage although I accept it is unusually sooty around the face and beneath the eye and has completely moulted out any trace of breeding plumage. I have seen several adult Great Northern Divers in recent weeks and they are still retaining some 'summer' white scalloped back feathers.
I am still perplexed by the ageing of this individual and after reading comments made by Mark Hawkes believe that it could be a '2nd-winter', if such a plumage truly exists. Most juvenile Great Northern Divers have typically pale fringed upperparts.
Post a Comment