Friday, November 19, 2010

Scoters, Eiders and the Mystery Bird is. . .

[Hauled out adult male White-winged Scoters are not stock items.  Karl Lukens photographed this one off St. Peter's in Cape May Point yesterday. Click to enlarge photos.]

All three scoters and several Common Eiders were off St. Peters in Cape May Point yesterday. Speaking of sea ducks, there is still room on our Harlequin Romance field trip to Barnegat Light on Saturday, December 4.  I've led this trip annually for what seems like forever. . .and over the years, besides the guaranteed Purple Sandpipers and Harlequins, have had Black-legged Kittewake, both white-winged gulls, Razorbill. . . it's a good spot.

Our annual Kick Off Your Year List in Cape May trip - New Year's Day, of course -  also has spaces open. 

Now, for the Mystery Bird:

[Not white, just completely blown out by the flash. Big headed. Short winged. And. . .are those eyes? What on earth has eyes set so far back on the head??]

[Why, American Woodcock, of course, like this one last January, in Beaver Swamp, looking away. . . or is that looking at me? Because one must be cautious with photos, I can't swear the outer primaries are narrow on the "mystery photo," but they sure look needlelike, which indicates male - the male's twittering sound during their display flight is produced mechanically, by air flowing between the outer primaries. A number of readers correctly identified the bird. Click to enlarge.]

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