When you're a 40 something single mother of a teen with lots of ambition, you find yourself in all kinds of interesting adventures and situations. Come back to laugh at us any time you feel the need, heaven knows where we'll be doing what next. Here you can expect a few words, a lot of images and hopefully ideas on what you can do for your next adventure.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Black Scoters - Higgins Beach, Cape Elizabeth

Before heading home from my Jackpot Day of birding, I decided to make one quick stop at Higgins Beach and man oh man, I was not disappointed. Offshore - on the outer edges of the surf - was a raft of ducks so large, so incredibly massive... well - ok. It wasn't THAT big but I was so excited! I pulled out my binoculars and stared at them for a few minutes, trying to figure out what exactly I had in front of me. There were far more than a hundred of these dark colored birds, some with white and I was lost for a few until I realized - they were Black Scoters, mixed male and female, with an Eider and two Long Tailed ducks sandwiched in the middle like marriage counselors or playground monitors. 

Black Scoters are another type of sea duck that summers along the coast of Alaska, Quebec or Newfoundland and then hits the Maine Coast for it's winter vacation. The males are all black and sport a bright orange bill, while the females are a dingy greyish-brown with a lighter gray patch on their cheeks. You can clearly see the difference in the pictures below. Of the three Scoter breeds (White Winged, Surf and Black Scoter) the Black is the least common and therefore, the least studied of the trio. It was a great surprise to see them here and I'm so glad I could share them with you! 

This is just a portion of the group. The pictures that show all make it look like a bunch of pepper on a plate!

The orange beaks of the males and the light faces of the females made this group pretty easy to identify.

Spot the two Long Tails and the Eider in the mix? 


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