[Tweeters] Possible Tufted Duck at Magnuson

Scott Ramos lsr at ramoslink.info
Thu Nov 25 14:42:36 PST 2010


While at snowy Magnuson Park this morning with Sharon Aagard, we saw an
unusual Aythya duck hanging out, loosely, with a flock of scaups (both
Lesser and Greater) and a huge number of Common Goldeneye, just to the
north of the platform off of the swim beach. The bird caught our
attention because:
- it showed a clear tuft at the back of the head, though not as long as
that on the classical breeding male
- the head was uniformly rounded, unlike other Aythya
- the flanks were a mottled white, and the rear portion of the whiter
flank edged up higher than the front, somewhat like a Ring-necked, but
there was no spur at the front of the white flanks as there would be in
a Ring-necked
- the bill was uniformly grey, with no coloration difference at the
base, and with a notable nail
- the head and back were a mostly uniform dark color, though the back
was not black
- the bird was noticeably small compared to the other scaups
- it did not move about with the scaups, but kept its distance

Unfortunately, just as I was just about to take a photo, an eagle
fly-over put the entire flock into the air and off toward the middle of
the lake. The eagle made a couple of half-hearted passes at a scaup
which had been diving when the flock left and re-appeared at the surface
all alone. But, no further action. After about 45 minutes, we returned
to the beach to see that some of the flock had returned. Our mystery
bird was not in the group.

Scott Ramos

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