This morning there were about 5000 scaup (I didn't try
to count this time) at Borax Lake, where I relocated
one of the male TUFTED DUCKS and was very fortunte to
relocate (and obtain blury photos of) the male TUFTED
DUCK X SCAUP hybrid found by Kathy Robertson
yesterday. It's definitely a hybrid with a short tuft
and a dark but not solidly dark back that is paler
toward the front and the dark extends farther down the
sides than in the other male scaup.
Also present was a rather uniformly brown female duck
appearing slightly smaller than the scaup and lacking
white on the head. I'm fairly certain it was a female
TUFTED DUCK with an extremely short tuft. However, it
dived frequently and was a bit too distant to obtain
photos or to be 100% certain.
Rather bizarre was a female duck among the scaup that
I think was a SCAUP X MERGANSER hybrid. Unfortuntely
it was too distant to photograph. It resembled a
female scaup with: a scaup-like bill; a brown but more
slender head lacking a crest or a distinct white patch
but with an ill-defined pale area on the cheek; a
golden iris; a blackish chest contrasting with white
underparts; brownish upperparts and rear; long white
stripes on the wings; and, most noticeably, a
distinctly longer body and longer tail, with the tail
held higher above the water.
Elsewhere, two WESTERN GULLS (3rd-basic and adult)
were at Austin Park, Clearlake.
Hidden Valley Lake, Lake County