Re: [BirdYak] Possible White-winged Scoter on Buchanan
After fielding the phone call from John about a White-winged Scoter on
Buchanan Lake, I had to hoot-foot a mile to the Big-O Tire store to score
By the time I made it to the lake, light was fading. The Scoter was still
visible but would not give me a wing wave.
A flock of geese came into to land close to 4:45. The light was very
minimal at that point, but one of the flock was noticeably smaller. Scope
views were good enough to see light vs dark plumage markings that
were odd. The neck and breast were dark; where the breast met the
belly/flanks, feathers were lighter...much as in a Ring-necked Duck.
The bird had a confusing face coloration...remember the late 50's and
the duck tail or DA hairstyle of macho teens. Long hair saturated in
Brylcreem or 30 weight motor oil...swept back from the sideburns, over
the ears with the two sides meeting at the rear crown. Well, this bird
had light-colored feathers that appeared to be swept back in that fashion,
sort of like a breeding Eared Grebe.
An on the spot check of Sibley's big guide yielded one possible suspect.
The Barnacle Goose or Barnacle x Canada Goose hybrid illustrations
matched what I thought I was seeing. Take in to account that the
light was bad and I had not been drinking. Whatever it is, it really
looked unusual in the poor light.
Denny tells me that the Washington State Rare Birds Committee
considers all Barnacle Geese reports to be of escapee birds so it
is not a countable species for listers. Still, I hope to make an early
morning stop at Buchanan. I'd like to get a clear look at the White-
winged Scoter and the UFO.
Lots of geese moving around now. If you see flocks, check for odd
individuals. Seems as though we have a Snow Goose and a No Goose
hobnobbing with the Canadas.
Befuddled Birder by 3700 Bonnie Boone
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