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Surf Scoters & Greater Scaup at Buck Lake !!

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  • Bob
    Today, I saw two juvenile/female Surf Scoters plus an eclipse male Greater Scaup at Bratt s Lake. The Scaup was observed there yesterday. The Scaup was present
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2002
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      Today, I saw two juvenile/female Surf Scoters plus an eclipse male Greater
      Scaup at Bratt's Lake. The Scaup was observed there yesterday.

      The Scaup was present and seen yesterday for our Regina Nature Field Trip
      Group. Today, the bird was within a meter of the near shore. This presented
      a great opportunity to see it well via scope in direct comparison with
      several female and male Lesser Scaup plus Redheads.

      Greater Scaup are often seen during Fall in this very dark chocolate brown
      plumage. Today in duller light ,it was possible to see the faint traces of
      the typical white sidewalls of an alternate /breeding plumaged male. Check
      this plumage within Sibley ! It may be useful to check all very dark
      plumaged birds at this season.

      Greater Scaup have a much large bill and more a "flat headed" profile with
      the peak up front instead of at the back as in a Lesser Scaup. Seeing this
      difference in profile is easy when they are at rest or relaxed. The bill
      size is also very obvious.

      Lesser Scaup have that distinctive rear peak on their crowns except when
      diving. Males of this species are now also in much lighter plumage more
      closely resembling or approaching alternate /breeding condition. I suspect
      that their molt sequence is much different than Greater's!!??

      All of the Tundra Swans are now absent from the Lake !Yesterday, the numbers
      fell dramatically from a high of eighty three to just three !!

      The seventy plus Golden Plovers were absent as well.

      Good Birding !
      Bob L
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