[Tweeters] Montlake Fill Surf Scoter + Red-breasted Mergansers!

Evan Houston evanghouston at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 8 20:43:51 PDT 2009

Hi Tweeters,

I snuck off early from work late this afternoon to see what was around at the Fill.

Unlike in the morning, the afternoon light is good for scoping the waterbirds in Union Bay from the Fill. Amidst the group of Wigeons, Ring-necked Ducks, and Scaup I found one juvenile Surf Scoter, a "Fill lifer" for me, and also my Fill first "typically wintering in saltwater duck".

Within minutes I found my second saltwater duck, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers! The ID of these was tougher (to separate from Common Merganser), but I got photos and Ryan Merrill's help to verify.

I viewed both of these species from the SE point of the Fill, just S of the SE pond (see link to map below). Hopefully these birds will stick around for tomorrow, too, despite boat traffic and Bald Eagles.

Also out on the bay was 1 Canvasback, 1 Western Grebe, and a flock 6 Horned Grebe (my highest count for the Fill, no Eareds). The Greater White-fronted Geese were still around, too.


Good birding,
Evan Houston
Seattle, WA

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