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Emailing: GRSC20020205-m

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  • Bob
    This is a great photo of a species which is a regular migrant within the Province.This photo happens to illustrate the typical GREEN gloss that is often cited
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 12, 2003
      This is a great photo of a species which is a regular migrant within the
      Province.This photo happens to illustrate the typical GREEN gloss that is
      often cited as important aid in identification of the male Greater Scaup. A
      difficulty with this is that the Lesser Scaup will sometimes have this same
      iridescence although usually if you look closely there will be a typical
      PURPLE reflection also somewhere on the head.

      More important than the color of the head is the "shape or profile." Greater
      Scaup have "rounded crowns" with the peak over or just ahead of the eye. The
      Lesser has the peak at the" rear of the head" forming, during alert posture,
      a straight edge or line with the relatively narrow neck. (Beware though when
      birds are actively diving as the Lesser Scaup will alter its profile.)

      Often it is relatively easy to distinguish dozing or sleeping birds by
      checking the profile of the back of the head. Relaxed Greater's will show a
      rounded look while Lesser's will display the peak or bump on the rear of the
      crown.

      Also evident on this photo are the immaculate or clean white "sidewalls" or
      flanks and the larger bill and prominent nail. Alternate or breeding
      plumaged male Lesser Scaup have mottling on the front of the flank and
      typically present a less contrasting look in comparison with the markings
      and shade or color of the back.

      This field mark, the contrast created by the clean or brighter flanks, will
      often draw your attention to birds for further study.

      Females and basic plumaged birds present other challenges. The shape of the
      head and size of the bill plus the large nail are constants.

      Look within flocks of scaup this year for opportunities to compare species.
      With reasonable views plus some study and experience these two species can
      be readily identified.

      Good Birding !
      Bob Luterbach
    • kenneth.noble1
      Nice to see the pic of the lesser scaup, Bob. They are becoming more regular in the UK, having not been seen at all till about 10 years ago. I suspect that
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 12, 2003
        Nice to see the pic of the lesser scaup, Bob.  They are becoming more regular in the UK, having not been seen at all till about 10 years ago.  I suspect that they were missed before that, as they are not easy to identify and people weren't necessarily expecting them.
        (I once had a visit to Palo Alto Baylands, where the pic was taken--in fact I've even written about it briefly on my web site--under California.  It is a great place!  While I'm doing a little publicity, I've put up a couple more bird shots on my site.  I'm slowly getting into photography.  It takes a lot of patience!)
        We're just beginning to get our first migrants here in Surrey.  I've not seen many myself but there were about 4 chiffchaffs in my area yesterday.
        Hope you all have a good spring, when it happens.
        Ken

        Bob wrote:
        This is a great photo of a species which is a regular migrant within the
        Province.This photo happens to illustrate the typical GREEN gloss that is
        often cited as important aid in identification of the male Greater Scaup. A
        difficulty with this is that the Lesser Scaup will sometimes have this same
        iridescence although usually if you look closely there will be a typical
        PURPLE reflection also somewhere on the head.
        
        More important than the color of the head is the "shape or profile." Greater
        Scaup have "rounded crowns" with the peak over or just ahead of the eye. The
        Lesser has the peak at the" rear of the head" forming, during alert posture,
        a straight edge or line with the relatively narrow neck. (Beware though when
        birds are actively diving as the Lesser Scaup will alter its profile.)
        
         Often it is relatively easy to distinguish dozing or sleeping birds by
        checking the profile of the back of the head. Relaxed Greater's will show a
        rounded look while Lesser's will display the peak or bump on the rear of the
        crown.
        
        Also evident on this photo are the immaculate or clean white "sidewalls" or
        flanks and the larger bill and prominent nail. Alternate or breeding
        plumaged male Lesser Scaup  have mottling on the front of the flank and
        typically present a less contrasting look in comparison with the markings
        and shade or color of the back.
        
        This field mark, the contrast created by the clean or brighter flanks, will
        often draw your attention to birds for further study.
        
        Females and basic plumaged birds present other challenges. The shape of the
        head and size of the bill plus the large nail are constants.
        
        Look within flocks of scaup this year for opportunities to compare species.
        With reasonable views plus some study and experience these two species can
        be readily identified.
        
        Good Birding !
        Bob Luterbach
        
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        -- 
        -------------------------------------------------------------------
        Kenneth Noble, Hurst Green, Oxted, Surrey
        
        Visit my web site at:
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      • Kenneth Noble
        ... whoops! I should have spotted the significance of GRSC. Anyway, both scaup look lovely. Ken
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 12, 2003
          --- In Saskbirds@yahoogroups.com, "kenneth.noble1"
          <kenneth.noble1@n...> wrote:
          > Nice to see the pic of the lesser scaup, Bob. --
          whoops! I should have spotted the significance of GRSC.
          Anyway, both scaup look lovely.
          Ken
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