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Scoters!


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#1 cestma

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:48 AM

Taken Thanksgiving day at Newport, Oregon (Pacific coast). Pretty sure I know what all these birds are (with the exception of a couple of unidentifiables), but since some of them are my very first scoters, I thought I ought to post 'em just in case.

Left to right: Double-crested Cormorant, adult male Surf Scoter (if ever there was a no-doubter!), and probably an adult male White-winged Scoter (orange-ish bill tip, white eye mark, and white speculum). The last was a real thrill to find--did not realize what it was till reviewing pictures!


Posted Image


My only other frame of the White-winged. Was so intent on the scoters that I did not realize some skinny-necked thing was appearing in the middle. :(

Posted Image

And speaking of skinny necks, there's the lefthand bird in this frame, that I was also unaware of. (Is "grebe-ish" at least in the right ballpark?) Anyway, that bird, a female Bufflehead, and I think a female Surf Scoter.

Posted Image
Trip report: Oregon Jaunt II http://www.whatbird....ii/#entry551308
Trip report: Oregon Jaunt http://www.whatbird....4-oregon-jaunt/
Trip report: Birding in Michigan's Upper Peninsula http://www.whatbird....pper-peninsula/

#2 GreatHorn

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:35 AM

Your IDs all look right, not sure what the skinny necked thing is, and the grebe is a Horned.

You didn't have to go to Oregon to find those birds! :P

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#3 Parula

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:38 PM

i agree with GH

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#4 jdeitsch

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:01 PM

I also agree with GH, nice assortment of birds!

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#5 psweet

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:09 PM

The skinny-necked bird looks like a female Scaup to me.

#6 cestma

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:15 PM

Thank you, everyone, for the confirmations!

Your IDs all look right, not sure what the skinny necked thing is, and the grebe is a Horned.

You didn't have to go to Oregon to find those birds! :P


As I well know, from watching your posts! :D But don't tell my husband, OK?

How on earth can you get any idea on that GLO? (grebe-like-object)

I also agree with GH, nice assortment of birds!


Thanks, I was certainly delighted. :D

The skinny-necked bird looks like a female Scaup to me.


You folks amaze me! Sure wish I had more shots of my question marks. Thanks for letting me know what I should consider; now, of course, I'm dying to see these again.

I'll have more tentative ID's for y'all to help me with soon. Maybe I'll even dare to post a few gulls, a taxon which has officially blown all my brain circuits.

Edit- PS: I was really surprised at how much larger the White-winged looked than the Surf in these pics. Sibley (& others) lists only an inch difference in length. But I guess the greater disparity in wing-span, and esp. in weight, is really noticeable.
Trip report: Oregon Jaunt II http://www.whatbird....ii/#entry551308
Trip report: Oregon Jaunt http://www.whatbird....4-oregon-jaunt/
Trip report: Birding in Michigan's Upper Peninsula http://www.whatbird....pper-peninsula/

#7 psweet

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:44 PM

On the grebe, the head pattern and bill shape are diagnostic. As far as the scoters, I suspect that some of the size difference you're seeing is the result of a difference in angle between the two birds - you're looking at the Surf a bit from behind, and at the White-winged from directly to one side.

#8 cestma

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 01:40 AM

On the grebe, the head pattern and bill shape are diagnostic. As far as the scoters, I suspect that some of the size difference you're seeing is the result of a difference in angle between the two birds - you're looking at the Surf a bit from behind, and at the White-winged from directly to one side.


OK, now I see the grebe characteristics easily. Thanks! Honest to gosh, when I first shared this with my adult son, with whom I'd gone birding, I suggested Horned Grebe. (Sure hope he remembers that. :D ) Then I realized I didn't know exactly why I said that, and meanwhile he started showing me some of his shots of Westerns & Clarks (he's living in OR now), and Sibley's range map didn't seem to include the OR coast, so I immediately assumed I was wrong. :unsure:

I also see what you mean about the scoter orientations.

Regarding the Scaup-like object--is it just me, or does it appear to have a fish in its bill?
Trip report: Oregon Jaunt II http://www.whatbird....ii/#entry551308
Trip report: Oregon Jaunt http://www.whatbird....4-oregon-jaunt/
Trip report: Birding in Michigan's Upper Peninsula http://www.whatbird....pper-peninsula/

#9 psweet

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 01:44 PM

Seems like there's something there, but I would suspect it's not a fish. Scaup, I believe, eat mostly plants and molluscs. It could be a bit of fishing line, or some sort of algae?

#10 cestma

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:48 PM

I hope it's not fishing line! Now that you mention it, that bill shape doesn't exactly say "fisher" to me.

(Thankfully I've gotten much better looks at scaups at the local Nature Center.)
Trip report: Oregon Jaunt II http://www.whatbird....ii/#entry551308
Trip report: Oregon Jaunt http://www.whatbird....4-oregon-jaunt/
Trip report: Birding in Michigan's Upper Peninsula http://www.whatbird....pper-peninsula/




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