[Tweeters] Falcated Duck at Samish Island

Dennis Paulson nettasmith at comcast.net
Sun Feb 27 16:03:37 PST 2005

Hello, tweeters.

Netta Smith and I watched a male FALCATED DUCK for some time this
morning at the same spot where one was seen two (or was it three?)
winters ago, very likely the same bird, just as the Samish Island Road
reaches Samish Island. A huge (ca 1000) flock of American Wigeons was
feeding in the flooded fields to the west of Samish I Rd, and I was
trying to count the male Eurasian Wigeons in the flock (at least 20),
and lo and behold, there was a Falcated Duck in my scope. It kept its
head down much of the time and could easily be missed, but the
Mallard-green head shone whenever it lifted it. With head down, it
could be recognized by the quite pale gray back (that's what called my
attention to it), and the falcate (sickle-shaped) tertials could be
seen in the scope. If you get a rear view, you can see that the pale
patch at the rear extends farther to the back than in a wigeon and is
divided by a black line. When it lifts its big, bulky head with the
long feathers hanging down like a Darth Vader helmet, there's no
mistaking it.

Good luck!

Dennis Paulson & Netta Smith
1724 NE 98 St.
Seattle, WA 98115

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