Great Northern Diver in Scarborough Harbour

For a while there have been photos on social media of a Great Northern Diver in Scarborough harbour. These are one of the birds on my wanted list so I decided to go and see if I could see it.

Due to other commitments I couldn’t get over there until yesterday, Sunday 24th November 2019, and as it’s been there for quite a while it was a gamble as to whether it would still be there.

Luckily the weather forecast was no rain, although it would be overcast the whole day.

I left home at 05:50 and arrived in Scarborough at 08:00 after a tortuous route due to the A64 being closed. I parked in the harbour car park and bumped into 2 other people who had also come looking for the Diver, although they were from Scarborough, so not a great journey for them.

I tagged along with them as they knew the area and started to search for the bird. We finally ended up on a slipway into the harbour which gave a good low point of view but when we did finally see the Great Northern Diver it was on the other side of the harbour near to some fishing boats. A very long view and with terrible light meant all of my shots were very poor, but at least I’d seen it and could tick it off my life list. We moved around but still couldn’t get a clear close view.

They both left so I decided to go onto the harbour wall above where we saw the bird and see if I could get some closer views, even though the POV wasn’t very good. As I watched it slowly moved nearer to the slipway I’d been on earlier and 2 new photographers were already there.

I quickly moved back to the slipway and the Diver moved nearer to it, diving down all the time and sometimes coming up with a crab which it quickly swallowed.

I stayed here for quite a while and managed to get some closeup shots and although the light was very poor some of them turned out ok. Here are a few of them.

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Great Northern Diver, Gavia immer

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/320 s. f/4 iso800 EF500mm f/4L IS USM

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Great Northern Diver, Gavia immer

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/125 s. f/5.6 iso800 EF500mm f/4L IS USM +1.4x

7D2_5075.jpg

Great Northern Diver, Gavia immer

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/250 s. f/5.6 iso1600 EF500mm f/4L IS USM +1.4x

7D2_5099.jpg

Great Northern Diver, Gavia immer

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/320 s. f/5.6 iso1600 EF500mm f/4L IS USM +1.4x

7D2_5123.jpg

Great Northern Diver, Gavia immer

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/320 s. f/5.6 iso1600 EF500mm f/4L IS USM +1.4x

7D2_5128.jpg

Great Northern Diver, Gavia immer

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/320 s. f/5.6 iso1600 EF500mm f/4L IS USM +1.4x

As you can see, due to the poor light the photographs look almost B&W

There were also a few Cormorants fishing in the harbour

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Cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/400 s. f/4 iso1600 EF500mm f/4L IS USM

The harbour was starting to get very busy as more people came down to photograph the bird, as well as the usual tourist and all the shops opening, so I decided it was time to go home.

The journey back was as bad as when I came due to the closure of the A64 but at least the trip had been successful.

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