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!