Surf Scoters

Two summers ago, I photographed my first Surf Scoters at a distance from a public berm at the end of Tilghman’s Island, Maryland.  I didn’t know what species they were but it was the male’s quirky bright-colored beak and bright white spot on the back of his black head that caught my eye in the water.

When I got home and identified them, I discovered they were on the list of annual local sightings on Marshy Creek at the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center across the water from me.  Now how could I have missed seeing that bright beak from my balcony the previous two winters?!

My eye has improved.  😉  I have since seen Surf Scoters numerous times from my balcony this and last winter.  They don’t tend to come too close to our shore here but I’ve still enjoyed watching them with binoculars.  They raft close together and take turns diving for food while the others keep moving.  This season I started seeing them a week before Christmas.

Here’s a series of shots from different days which most times were cloudy.  🙁  I cropped some a bit much and lost clarity, but I wanted to showcase that cool-looking beak for those that have never seen it.

Raft of Surf Scoters

Raft of Surf Scoters

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You’ll notice in this photo the juvenile males don’t have the white spot on the back of the head yet but their beaks are beginning to turn to orange.

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How ’bout that beak?  🙂  I hope you enjoyed the Surf Scoter, thanks for stopping by!

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