Thursday, November 29, 2012

Scauping Around

Remembering the "Golden Rule" of birding, we looked at the large groups of birds.  At the Gilbert Water Ranch, we'd get clear shots of the elusive Northern Pintails and Lesser Scaup.
Northern Pintail
But we had to really observe.  All these ducks today are a first for Las Aventuras.  The eye can play tricks with ducks.  Hybrids, female/male ducks, and similar looking ducks like the Canvasback/Redheads can cause one to lose track and blend them all together.
Ring-necked Duck
The important rule though is to keep your ears open.  If a rare bird is spotted in your area, there's a chance that others may be around as well.  Several posts ago, I spoke about searching for the Lesser Scaup at the Amado Recharge basin near Madera Canyon.  At the time, I wasn't able to find the bird but this Gilbert Ranch experience really led us to some great observations.
But as you can imagine, the duck below was popular with families and their kids.  Just a domestic duck.  Still cute.  This particular bird was a celebrity with the crowds at the park:)
But I'm weird.  The Lesser Scaups hiding with all the others made me jump up and down. I rushed down the bridge to get close up shots!
Lesser Scaup
Both sexes were found hiding in the Ring-necked Duck crowd.  And I had to really focus and pay attention to find them. By this time, Kathie and I were exhausted and tired.  We had spent an entire morning counting birds.  We found over 50 birds but by the time we returned back to our car, our minds were drained and our bodies lacked nourishment.
The last bird I counted on this day would be another lifer for me....the Lesser Scaup.  It just took more work and mental focus to find it:)  And what little exists up in my head was then completely drained.
But Kathie and I weren't finished.  There are two more posts coming up from our adventure and day off birding.  It's serious business and it's never 1 or 2 hours with us......but an entire day.  Just wait until you see what else we found:)  What a trip!  At the end of the day, we went home and slept.  And didn't bird for several days afterwards:)
Green-Winged Teal
More tomorrow....


  1. Good to see so many different ducks. A smashing day out.

  2. You met them all... not quite but most of them. You will have to come back...

  3. Well done on the Lesser Scaup. Love the "Pom Pom Duck". First time I saw one I thought someone had stuck the pom pom on its head!! However, when I checked they are a domestic species and very cute too :)

  4. Great collection of ducks! The Green winged teal is my favorite. Beautiful shots, Chris!

  5. Congrats on finding the Lesser Scaup! I love the Pintails; they are such elegant ducks! That is a beautiful shot of the Ring-necked Duck with the reflection as well.

  6. It is always wonderful to find a lifer and you did well finding the scaup in amongst all the other ducks! I especially like the two images of the scaup where it is shaking.

  7. Oh, my goodness! It's the dreaded Lesser Scaup!! I say dreaded because a couple of years ago I spent much time looking for one among hundreds and hundreds of very similar looking Tufted Ducks at a local reservoir. I know it was there because others had seen it but it completely eluded me despite several visits :-( Well done on seeing yours Chris and on all the other sightings and photos. It sounded like a great day's birding with your birding buddy. I also enjoyed your 'Peep Show' on the previous post :-)

    I hope this gets through as I have just has to type it a second time because it wouldn't go through!

  8. Right on!
    I do enjoy some Lesser Scaup. They're not the most flashy duck, but as you mention, they're not overly common either, at least around Phoenix, and they're always a welcome observation.

  9. Don't think I've seen ducks in a while. Guess I need to see more water. Excellent captures. You two crazy birders. Love ya's both. Keep at it.

  10. Ładnie wygląda biała kaczka z kulkami przy głowie :)
    It looks nice white duck with "balls" to the head :)

  11. They are tremendous, love 'em Chris.

  12. Hey Chris, you're exhausted? Those American ducks turn up mixed with our European ones at times - Green-winged with Teal, Ring- necked with tufties, American Wigeon with Wigeon, Lesser Scaup with Scaup(or Tufted Duck)and even Black Duck with Mallards. Anyway thanks for the great photos, now I'd better go and get looking for a few of them.

  13. Very lovely birds and the white domestic duck, almost looks like a Pom Pom duck. Sometimes those tufts like that are indicative of tumors too~

  14. Lovely shots. All those ducks (except the Pintail and the white domestic duck with the fancy hairdo) are rare visitors to our side of the pond :)

  15. Hi Kreesh, it is my birthday today, haha! I guess I am not really a birder, because i don't like much the ducks, yes they are beautiful but i prefer those in the forest. By the way, i don't know that word 'scauping'! How is it related to scoping?

    1. Happy birthday Andrea!!! Hope you have a wonderful day!

      Scauping is a play on words for scoping....and you got it:) Scoping=searching for:)

      Hugs my friend! I hope you have a wonderful day and do something very special:) Kreesh

  16. I like the ring necked duck. I don't think I have ever seen one of those before. Another nice day of birding for you.

  17. Love all those ducks. I rarely get to see any.

  18. You must be shooting with a telephoto lens, because everything is so clear...and cropped.



  19. looks like a great day out!!
    so many many wonderful pictures!!

    happy saturday!

  20. LOL, Chris! I am still playing catch up!


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