Minor mystery ducks?

Ok, I’m still finding my way in Duckville – what are these?

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

I like this scene in part because of the little group on the rock in the upper right. Zoom in and it looks to me like  a pair of Ruddy Turnstones and a Black-bellied Plover. (Notice how much larger the plover is.)

ruddy_t_bb_plover

And I’m pretty sure these are simply male Common Eiders – the two with all the white on the back and probably the dude ont he right as well.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

But what is  the one front and center below? It appears to have two wing bars, as do the pair pointed out in the first picture . . . And there are others like that. I see nothing in my field guides, so I can only assume these are male Eiders – possibly juveniles – in transition feathering? Notice the light markings on the face as well.

Click image to get larger version.

Click image to get larger version.

Anyway, that was part of my fun this morning. The seas on both sides of the causeway were quite calm after yesterday’s storm. I walked the east side out past East Point and the towers, then back the center road. On the beach near the towers I saw four or five shore birds which I believe were Black-bellied Plovers.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

They were the highlight of my walk since I’ve seen few shorebirds in the last couple weeks. No Monarch butterflies today. They’ve probably all left for Mexico, but if they haven’t the temperature was 38-degrees Fahgrenheit and I don’t think the sun had been up long enough to warm their flight muscles. And speaking of temperatures, my camera battery gave out – I had real confidence in this one – just after I took these pictures. I got a brilliant idea. I took it out and stuck it in my pocket, figuring it was cold. Sure enough, by the time I got back to the causeway I had plenty of battery to take the pictures at the start of this post.  But that’s it. I will no longer assume one battery can handle the situation – especially in winter temperatures.  So I’ll carry a second and keep it warm.

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