Saturday AM I spent over an hour observing water fowl at Caspar pond. I was surprised by the 2 male redheads. Besides coots I thought I also saw lesser scaups. As I continued to watch I realized that what I thought were scaups were ring-necked ducks.
In my experience ring-necked are fairly rare. What soon became obvious is that scaups do not have black backs or a ring on their beaks. I took a number of photographs most of which are of poor quality. Tonight as I studied the photos I attempted to count females. What I found is that there was 1 or more mallard hens helping to confuse the issue. Also, I noticed that redhed hens and ring-neck hens look similar enough in bad photos that it was difficult to separate them. To further my confusion, ring-neck hens have enough white on their face to be confused with a female lesser scaup.
My final guesstimate is 5 male ring-neck, possibly 1 female red-head, 2 or more female ring-necks.
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