Great northern divers off the Scottish coast

Local Patch Reporter Sara Frost spots her first great northern diver.

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One of my favourite sightings for April was a great northern diver – the first I’ve ever seen! The few (around 2,600) that do come to winter around the coastlines of the British Isles usually stay until April before leaving for their mainly Icelandic breeding grounds for the summer.

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This diver seemed quite content bobbing about on the waves (and, of course, diving under them), though it took several attempts at manoeuvering the boat to photograph it both looking in my direction and without the sun behind it blocking out the black and white patterns of its winter plumage.

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Read more exciting nature blogs by BBC Wildlife local patch reporters

BBC Wildlife wanted to find a new way to share some of our readers’ natural-history diaries with other wildlife enthusiasts, and Local Patch Reporters was born. 

Our 20 Local Patch Reporters for 2014 are aged from 10 to 64 and live from Dorset in the south to Shetland in the north.

Throughout this year they will be exploring and reporting on nature in their neighbourhood via online blogs.

Sara Frost is a local patch reporter from the west coast of Scotland.

Sara’s nature patch: Seil Island

I enjoy nature writing and wildlife film-making. I’m currently creating and presenting a 15-minute film called Wild Islands, which is about the variety of wildlife in the Inner Hebrides.

Wildlife aims for 2014: Carry out monthly cetacean surveys on board the King Seaways in the North Sea during the summer and set up a camera-trap in my garden to try and record pine martens.