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Fwd: [CSBirds] Harlequin Duck in Yosemite

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  • sgloverccc@aol.com
    Hello everyone, This message came across on the Central Sierra listserve but it would seem to be of interest to all of us who would love to see a Harlequin
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 11, 2002
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      Hello everyone,
      This message came across on the Central Sierra listserve but it would seem to
      be of interest to all of us who would love to see a Harlequin Duck on a
      rushing Sierran river.

      Steve Glover
      Dublin

      If the misery of our poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our
      institutions, great is our sin. Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle

      In a message dated 6/9/2002 3:46:55 PM Pacific Daylight Time, pbowend@...
      writes:


      > Susan and Jerry James are birding friends of mine who are not on this
      > list so they asked me to post this information. Penelope Bowen:
      >
      > We had a very exciting sighting while in Yosemite. We spotted a
      > female Harlequin Duck in rapids on the Merced River at the Bridalveil
      > Falls viewing area. She appeared 3 times while we watched the area,
      > diving, flying and preening. I had been under the impression that
      > they had been extirpated in Yosemite Valley. Have you seen or heard
      > of any Harlequin Duck sighting in the Calaveras area or anywhere else
      > in the Sierras? I've seen Harlequins on the CA coast in several areas
      > and lots of them in Alaska. This sighting was my first one in a
      > potential breeding area.
      >
      > The sighting was June 1 at 5:30 p.m. This viewing spot is normally
      > packed with visitors - very busy and noisy. Due to the road closure
      > there was no one around, and this change in activity may be a reason
      > why she was there. Northside Drive was closed to vehicle traffic
      > beginning May 29 due to a construction project. We decided to walk
      > up the closed road on Saturday, June 1st and have a picnic dinner at
      > the Bridalveil Falls viewing area. No one was around, and it was very
      > quiet and peaceful. The river was high with lots of rapids at this
      > area. We arrived at 5:30 p.m. As we approached the river, I saw a
      > brown chunky duck-like bird on the water with what appeared to be an
      > oval white spot on the face (similar to a female Bufflehead). It was
      > swimming just below the stump end of a fallen cedar tree, and it dove
      > as soon as it saw us. We were less than 20 feet away. At that point
      > I wasn't sure what I had seen, but I was certainly very interested.
      >
      > We set up our chairs and settled in for dinner. A few minutes later a
      > similar duck flew over the edge of the meadow on the far side of the
      > river and landed in the rushing current. I got a good look at her
      > face - the white behind the bill, the small bill size, and a round
      > white spot behind the eye! A female Harlequin Duck!! She disappeared
      > down the rapids behind a small island covered with brush and willow
      > shrubs. Jerry missed her quick visit.
      >
      > At 5:48 p.m. she appeared again! She walked up on the small island
      > into an open sandy area and preened for some seconds. Both Jer and I
      > got great looks at her through binoculars. We were probably less than
      > 40 feet away and watched her for at least 30 seconds before she flew
      > upstream and out of sight. We did not see her reappear.
      >
      > We looked for her again on Monday morning
      >
      >
      >
      >


      Steve Glover
      Dublin

      If the misery of our poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our
      institutions, great is our sin. Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle


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