October 27th   Leave a comment

Scaup quiz

It was nice this morning to do some low effort birding. Lakes, wetlands and the sea you just turn up to and settle in with your telescope. You scan left and right and everything is there, large and visible. On my Crail patch this means only Balcomie Beach, sea watching or Carnbee reservoir. I was at the last today, enjoying those Crail rarities, mute swan, little grebe, tufted duck and of course coot. Amongst the tufted duck were two scaup, a female and a male coming out of eclipse (or juvenile) plumage. These marine ducks also occasionally turn up inland on freshwater and they are fairly uncommon on the patch – about once every two years, but often at Carnbee. I enjoyed finding them. They are not hard ducks really but you do need to pay attention and remember to check all the tufties just in case. Have a look at the panel adjacent and see if you can spot the scaups. Look for the rounded head and more wedge-shaped bill compared to a tufted duck; big white patches around the bill, and on the male the emerging paler back. In the rough, damp pasture field to the north I flushed a jack snipe twice, and six common snipe. True to form, the jack snipe flew up silently and landed about 50 meters away, whereas the common snipe all called as they flew away, much more strongly and directly flying out of sight.

Coot (WC)

Posted October 27, 2019 by wildcrail in Sightings

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