Friday, June 21, 2013
Greater scaup at Lake Murray? Update: Lesser scaup!
I came across this duck at Lake Murray sitting amongst the mallards this morning. At first, I thought he was a new lesser scaup, but his behavior was a bit unusual. I never see lesser scaups laying on the shore unless something was wrong with them. This one seemed pretty comfortable on the shore. So, I thought, maybe it was a ring-necked duck because the tip of its bill looked a little lighter than the rest of the bill and its head is a little flatter. Ring-necked ducks often sit on the shore, too. But, after looking at it again, the duck doesn't quite look like a ring-necked duck and it seems a bit larger than a lesser scaup, too.
So, I think it might be a greater scaup, but will try to get an expert opinion. This next photo is unaltered other than resizing and my signature:
Here he is, walking. I did some lighting adjustments on this one:
If it is a greater scaup, it would be the first one that I've ever seen at this lake or inland at all. If it's a lesser scaup, it would still be unusual for this time of year.
***Update: I looked at some other photos of lesser scaup (including the one that was there until last month) and he is a dead ringer for one. So, I'm thinking this is just a larger than average lesser scaup. Still pretty unusual.
In duckling news, one of the moms that had four ducklings a few days ago now only has two. They're starting to get their tail feathers:
This was the mom who had three ducklings a week ago. I love it when they get to this age, about 10-14 days old:
This duck was across the lake where Bumblefoot was. His mama is a Flycatcher mama, possibly Flycatcher herself. He's about two weeks old:
I think the next two photos are of the "Canal Ducklings" who would be about 7 weeks old. However, they appear to be younger than 7 weeks and still have some down.
It looks like there is one male and two females with this family. Mama's mate was being really mean to them, but they were kinda jumping around nipping at the adults, too. Mama is the one in the back:
Also, I thought this was strange. This baby coot is well over two months old, is almost as big as mama coot, and is still getting fed! Coots tend to stop feeding their chicks after two months and chase them away at three months. He had several siblings which died early: