Getting photos of this species has become a bit of an obsession of mine. And this weekend was probably my last chance before they head north for the summer…
Some closer-than-usual Stejneger’s Scoters from a couple of days ago…
Still not that close though.
Why don’t they come close like their relatives?
They just never come close…
This male Long-tailed Duck was coming into breeding plumage…
This Sanderling isn’t yet:
I was trying my hardest to get photos of this species. Stejneger’s Scoter, but they never seem to come close.
These were on the sea, not in the port and is a very heavy crop.
On the way back home we stopped off at a port that was great for Long-tailed Ducks late last winter…
And they were back.
And will the Stejneger’s Scoters ever come close?
Both species of scoter were offshore on Sunday.
The Stejneger’s Scoters came a bit closer than normal. A striking but odd-looking bird…
Most of the seaducks have left the ports and are either offshore or gone back north. There were a few Black Scoters close inshore and a few Stejneger’s always just out of camera range.
Most interesting duck was the above American Wigeon (in terrible light) and a flock of Falcated Duck (also out of camera range).
I was trying to get some Stejneger’s Scoter BIFs yesterday. Some would fly reasonably near the port wall and if you crop heavily and don’t pixel peep the results are not so awful.
Black Scoter are common visitors to the various ports near Yakumo and they were abundant at the weekend, their eerie calls everywhere.
Stejneger’s Scoter were also very common but were always tantalizingly out of camera range. For some reason they never seem to visit the ports.
As I trudged back to the car I noticed one in among the Scaup.
A second year male I think, maybe injured or sick?
Offshore at Oshamanbe, and several other places, there are rafts of this species in winter and spring. Stenjeger’s Scoter, a split from the White-winged Scoter in America and Velvet Scoter in Europe.
Usually they are well offshore and never approach the ports but there were some of them right by the sea wall in the port at Oshamanbe on Sunday.
Whilst these photos are nothing special, they are easily the best I’ve managed of this species.
Other stuff around included Black-throated Diver, Falcated Duck, Red-necked and Great-crested Grebes (the latter coming into summer plumage), Glaucous and Glaucous-winged Gulls and the usual common stuff. Except small birds of course.
There were also some dolphins (or porpoises) at the edge of the port: must have been a lot of fish around.