Tuesday, November 16, 2010

OMG, lifers!

LIFER OLDSQUAWS! (I refuse to call them Long-tailed Ducks.)

We finally got some good rain and cold last night and today, which means WATERFOWL! I got several texts from our local listserv (that's their new thing, texting alerts--which is awesome) about Bald Eagle and a little tiny lake called Colyer Lake near here. Colyer was easier for me to fit in, so off I went at lunchtime.

SCORE! Check these out!

I see a Ruddy Duck, some Scaup, some mergansers (red-breasted?), Canvasbacks, Oldsquaws, Buffleheads! The (correction) LESSER SCAUP (I thought Red-breasted Mergs were lifers, but I saw them at Middle Creek a while back) and OLDS are lifers! It was FREEZING out there, so I only stayed out about ten minutes, but those Oldsquaws were so worth it. They're beautiful!

Anyone want to play along on IDing each of these birds, from left to right? I'm working on it myself now, but I wanted to get these pics up quickly because I'm so excited!ID them by the numbers!

More pics, with IDs confirmed by a very good local birder named Alex:White-winged Scoter, Ruddies, WW Scoter -- I knew those two big black things were something different, and so much bigger than the other ducks (even the Canvasbacks, or so I thought). But Alex said those were the WW Scoters, and I realize now that they had the right marks on them through the bins -- LIFERS! Alex was out there too, earlier today, so I knew he'd be able to confirm IDs for me.

By the way, I ended up mis-IDing a lot of the Red-breasted Mergs as Ruddies, based on their tiny size. Beware!


Rabbits' Guy said...

14 is my long lost Aunt Betty!

(I don't know - I hardly know a Mallard from a Heron.)

But it does look like a meeting of Democrats!

Jen said...

Wow, congrats!! That's a lot of new birds in one trip!

Drew said...

Awesome that you got out to see the fallout.
Can't ID them all but here it goes,
1. Ruddy Duck
2,3,4. Redhead
6,10. Long-tailed Duck
8,10,12,15 are Canvasback
18,18. Red-breasted Merganser

dguzman said...

Rabbits' Guy--lol!

Jen--yeah, I was so thrilled. It's been a while since I've seen three lifers in one little lake!

Drew--Alex L. said that 2-5 are Lesser Scaup! I thought they were Canvasbacks or Redheads too. I think your other guesses are probably right. It was just so cold and rainy and foggy and windy out there.

dguzman said...

All, here are the IDs as made by Alex and me (Alex even added male/female!):
1-Ruddy Duck
2-Lesser Scaup female
3-Lesser Scaup female behind a Ruddy
4-Lesser Scaup female and Canvasback (maybe...hard to tell)
5-Lesser Scaup male
6-Oldsquaw in front of another Oldsquaw
7-Red-breasted Merganser
8-Canvasback male
10-Canvasback male
11-Red-breasted Merg
12-Canvasback behind Oldsquaw
13-Oldsquaw in front of Canvasback
14-Red-breasted Merg
16-Red-breasted Merg
17-Red-breasted Merg
18-Red-breasted Merg
19-Red-breasted Merg
20-Red-breasted Merg

My biggest mistakes, as I mentioned in the post, were mistaking mergansers for Ruddies.