Bempton Cliffs.

Bempton Cliffs.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

** Great Northern Diver At St Mary's Island.**

This lunchtime Pam and I went to do the usual weekly shopping run at Morrisons, at Strood, then after that we had a run to Chatham Dockyard to see the Great Northern Diverthat has been there for the last few days, or so. I got the directions off the net and followed them to the letter. I thought there might be a few other birders there but no, I was alone. I was pleased I got onto the bird so quickly when I arrived.
It spent most of it's time at the far end of the basin, floating  around and diving regularly for food. It is amazing just how far Great Northern Diver's can travel under water. I believe it is a juvenile Diver.
I was hoping to get a photo of it, but it just wouldn't come close enough. There was some other birds in the basin, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Moorhen, 4 Coot, a mixture of Gulls, and 6 Cormorant including 1 Sinensis.
I thought that was it but no, I ended the day with seeing a Shag.  It flew in from the direction of the other basin, the one with the boats in, next to the pub. I had read that there was more than one around.
Below is the directions as to where the Great Northern Diver can be seen.

If coming through the Medway Tunnel take the exit, and at the roundabout go left then go straight on towards St Mary's Island.  Before you go over the bridge turn right, opposite the Ship and Trade Inn. It is in the basin in that basin, not the one with all the
boats in.  It is also possible to view from the other side of the bridge. If the Diver is at the top of the basin and closer to the other side,, then  cross the bridge, at the roundabout turn right, go straight on until you get to a roundabout, take the 3rd exit, Rest Harrow way,  go straight on and park up, then it is a short walk through to the water.

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