Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lesser Scaup

Beautiful spring day today. I drove across the CT River to Keene, NH to follow-up on a report of various waterfowl being sighted in a ditch along Cornwell Dr. At first I didn't see much except for a scattering of Canada Geese and a few Mallards. But then a small very dark bird, about the size of a ring-necked duck, with a prominent broad white patch at the base of its beak attracted my attention. It swam rapidly along the shore away from me, apparently not liking my presence in the car next to the ditch, but it did not fly away nor did it dive. While I was checking the settings on my camera, it had gained some distance and had climbed out of the water, but as soon as I came close again it scrambled back into the water.


  My guess is it's a female Lesser Scaup, more likely to be found inland than the Greater Scaup, but I can't be 100% sure. They are so close in appearance. She was probably making a stop-over on her way to her breeding grounds further north in Canada or Alaska. I was surprised though to find her all by herself. Had she somehow become separated from the flock she was traveling with?









Well, I wish her a safe journey! Bon Voyage!

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment.


26 comments:

  1. What a wonderful series of photos! Very helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A great capture of a bird on the move', can't help but taking away a slight sense of desperation on her part. The fascination of migration is endless to me.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I know what you mean about the similarities between Greater and Lesser Scaup. I can never tell the difference. Well captured either way.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wonderful series of photographs! She's a beauty. I hope she remains safe.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What excellent views you have!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice capture! Spring is arrived!

    ReplyDelete
  7. wow, it´s rare to see the feet like that. Love it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. That one with the reflection in the water is great Hilke.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love her expression... your wonderful pictures made me laugh. I especially love the angled water shot (2nd to last). The curvature of her bill makes her look both happy and demure.

    ReplyDelete
  10. fine duck! Love the reflection and the face on shots. Looks like it's thinking about charging you, Hilke! Nice gets

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beautiful duck and aewsome reflection shot on top.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wonderful pictures of this beautiful waterfowl. You did a wonderful job.

    ReplyDelete
  13. These are lovely photos Larry. We went for a drive yesterday and saw some Canadian geese and I believe a few mallards. A sign of spring! At last! Hope you are doing well. Happy birding!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Very nice series of images. It is strange she would be on her own like that.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Very cool captures! She looks like she wasn't shy at all.:)

    ReplyDelete
  16. A very nice set of images. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  17. All nice photos but the first one is especially beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  18. WOW another Wonderful BIRD to see--great photos too.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love the straight on face pic #2Lovely bird and a great series of images.

    ReplyDelete
  20. A great series of shots Hilke. As far as I recall the Lesser head has a slight peak at the rear wheras the Greater is rounded like the Tufted Duck. FAB.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great shots Hilke, a tribute to your great eye!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great find Hilke.
    They are a bit of a rarity here, and always cause some excitement when they turn up.

    ReplyDelete
  23. She's a lovely duck and you got some really nice shots of her!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you all for your comments!! After studying guidebooks I still wasn't sure whether it was a Lesser or Greater Scaup but got a unanimous opinion on Birdforum.net ID forum that it was a Lesser S. When I checked back the next day, she had left.

    ReplyDelete
  25. This is a beautiful series of the Lesser Scaup Hilke. The first reflection image is super!

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.