On the 15th December I had a very brief view of what I was sure was a Diver species. I was in a rush due to work commitments and already running late, but I decided to head back to the main car park to see if I could relocate the diver as it was working its way along the dam wall.
Despite 20 minutes fruitless searching, I gave up and headed off to work.
16th December back to the reservoir to look for the diver, which didn’t take me too long to relocate it down the southern end and identify it as a Great Northern Diver. I headed off to the Calke Arm where I found it resting in the bay. It soon drifted off once it realised my presence and disappeared down the Dimmingsdale arm. So I made my way back to the car and off to the Dimmingsdale Bridge. I located it mid way down the far centre of the arm and it appeared to be heading back to the Calke Arm. So I did the same and got myself in position at the waters edge in anticipation of it coming into view.
Well it did just that and surfaced about 3 metres in front of me taking me completely by surprise. No camera!! It did this twice and then moved further down the Calke Arm giving amazing views. I managed a few phone-scoped images.
On the 19th December I found it again at the Calke Arm just resting off shore. I managed to get some decent video through my phone and telescope. The bird looked very poorly and certainly not the active and wary individual I had found on the 15th. It transpired from being caught by Severn Trent personnel on the dam wall that it had fishing line wrapped around its bill. So I am guessing the bird had swallowed pike tackle or similar, no wonder it didn’t look well. The bird was released off the sailing club pontoon on 19th.
The first Great Northern Diver at Staunton Harold since 2006.
The Diver has remained at the reservoir into 2021 and despite another interaction with pike tackle, it seems to be fit and well and if you are lucky, it comes very close to the shore line as it has done for me on more than one occasion.