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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lesser Scaup (Aythia affinis)

As I mentioned yesterday I failed to get a usable photo of the Northern Shoveler Duck while at Beacon Hill Park on Friday but amongst the ubiquitous Mallards and Wigeons I saw some other winter residents of the park, Lesser Scaup (Aythia affinis). These are diving ducks rather than dabbling ducks but unlike the other common overwintering diving ducks (such as the Mergansers, Buffleheads and Goldeneyes) these prefer fresh water, as does their relative, the Ring Necked Duck. Believe it or not though I've been a casual bird-watcher for many years I'm only now beginning to pick up on various species' preferences for habitat. Some ducks, like Mallards and Wigeons, can be found happily dabbling along the seashore as well as in local ponds and lakes. But I've never seen others, like the Lesser Scaup above, in salt water.


Paul in Powell River said...

Nice shot - it's hard to get that irridesence. And for what it's worth, up here the only ones I've ever seen are on salt water. :D

Dean Lewis said...

Once again it is so impressive to see the distinct markings of the different varieties of ducks.
And ducks are plentiful away from the coast, inland where there is only fresh water. The foliage below would be not salty and more palatable to them I suppose.

Madge @ The View From Right Here said...

So beautifully caught!