Thursday, December 5, 2013

first lesser scaup

Drove over to East Potomac State Park this morning because eBird's Hotspot map showed some really promising numbers. Well, as with all things in the birding world, results are unpredictable, no matter how much data you sift through, and today's trip proved to be an unmitigated disaster. There wasn't even a single sparrow to report. No cardinal, nor robin, nor mallard. So I packed up shop and headed dejectedly back toward the suburbs.

But, lo, what's that ducky shape over thar!? I quickly pulled over to the shoulder, got my bins and camera, and jumped out of the car. It was a lone waterbird, and I immediately suspected it was a Goldeneye. Delighted, I snapped a few photos, hopped back in the car, and rushed back home so I could study my findings.

Turns out, as experienced birders know, more than one duck has a golden eye, and in this case, I had a Lesser Scaup on my hands. As names go, Lesser Scaup doesn't quite compete with Goldeneye, but the bird is a stunner, nevertheless. And it's a life bird!

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