Ooops – what’s this?

Yesterday was crowded with other stuff, so I found time only for a brief visit. The ducks were out in force  though, on both sides of the causeway and off the west side of the parking lot which is where I found this pair. Do you know what they are?

Click image for larger version.

Click image for larger version.

It’s the large white patch just behind the bill that caught my eye. Several ducks have a feature something like this, but I’m going to guess these two are Greater Scaup. I say “Greater” rather than “Lesser”  Scaup not because I have any experience in separating one from  the other, but because my guide book tells me that in winter it is more likely to find the Greater Scaup on saltwater such as this, while the Lesser Scaup prefers fresh water rivers and ponds. But I will have to see more examples of these before I have any real confidence in this identification. But they look like adults in non-breeding plummage to me.

There was a brisk wind and some of the Eiders were hunkered down on Bar Rock.

Click image for larger view.

Click image for larger view.

And around the rock were some Scoters and here the smaller size of the Black Scoter when compared to Eiders really struck me.  That’s two Black Scoters – enlarge the image and you’ll see the bright orange bills – with a female Common Eider.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

Hmmm . . . maybe zooming in on this one shows size difference – and orange bill – better. (This image is as large as it gets. )

Black Scoter and Common Eider.

Black Scoter and Common Eider.

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