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 17, 2014

Greater Scaup - Spurwink River

I've been at this 'birding' game for a few years now and I'm still amazed at what's right under my nose when I'm not really paying attention. I swung by the Spurwink River on my way to see if the Brant were still at Kettle Cove. It was high tide - the highest I've ever seen there and I was marveling at how much the basin was filled up. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a duck take flight and I just happened to snap a few pictures as it made it's way deeper into the marsh. It wasn't until I got home that I realized I wasn't 100% sure of what it was. Careful research and logs of digging confirmed that I had seen my very first Greater Scaup. 

'Greater Scaup?' you say - 'what the heck is a Greater Scaup?'. Well - I can help with that. 

Scaup live primarily in upper regions of Canada and are frequent in Alaska during the summer months and are typically muckers like all other 'duckie' types of ducks. There is also what's known as a Lesser Scaup who is, as you can guess, smaller than the Greater one. Both breeds can occasionally be found around the coastal areas of Maine during the winter and with the irruption of Snowy Owls, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I saw this Scaup here too. The key identifiers were the white patch across the top of the bill and the white lines along the wings. This bird was large - Eider sized large - so I labeled it as a Greater. 

White mask over the nose (between the bill and the eyes) and that white line along the wings are the calling cards of a Scaup.

Red-Breasted Merganser riding the tide

The pier here is a great place for striper fishing in the summer or just birding. 

Brrr - incoming! They were riding the tide too - it brought them in fast..

This guy is eyeballing that chunk of ice - with good reason.

Yes - read his lips. That was a close call! I thought I was going to have to start warming up my truck for him.


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