Ridgefield redux & Broughton Beach

I totally lied to you.  I told you I saw a beautiful Rough-legged Hawk at Ridgefield yesterday.  Well, it wasn't sitting right with me.  I remembered when it flew it didn't have those dark patches underneath like it should.  In fact, the photos I have show a similar pattern to a light morph Harlan's hawk (aka a Red-tailed).

I sent some photos out for verification and yup, it's the Red-tailed.  Still a cool bird!  Just watch out if you go to Ridgefield and think you're seeing a Rough-legged!

Now onto Broughton Beach this morning... I figured I'd walk the dogs and see what turned up.

Oh right, there's been a Tufted Duck reported in this scaup flock for weeks now.  You may recall the last twenty times (over the last 3 winters) I have tried to pick out a Tufted among the scaup at Broughton Beach.  You may also recall that I failed every single time.

But today... Today was special.  The scaup were close to shore.  I felt like I had a fighting chance.  I tucked the dogs' leashes under my foot and started scanning.  Then I noticed a few birds off on their own, even closer to shore...

Boo ya!!!  Finally!!  I feel like I can rest easy now, Oregon Tufted Duck has been slain!  Metaphorically, of course. 

I noticed another bird in the back of the scaup flock that was not a scaup.  It was scratching itself and would not sit still so at first I thought it was a grebe.  Then I thought maybe a Ruddy Duck.  Then I started trying to turn it into a scoter.  Another birder showed up and he asked if it was a Ruddy or something else.  We debated.  A third birder showed up and we debated more.  Turns out, it was a female Black Scoter!

A damn good bird this far inland!  Good times!!


  1. Your note on my blog about the RL: "hopefully I will get it sorted." made me laugh. You are such a nerd. I love it. I really am glad you got that sorted out, Jen ;) Love that nice lookin' Tufted Duck!

  2. Oh yeah, and killer find on the Scoter!

    Not necessarily an easy bird even at the coast.

  3. And to think that you used to hate birds.

  4. I would love to see the Tufted Duck myself. Congrats! Happy Birding, Jen!

  5. Black Scoter is a high quality inland bird...I don't think I've ever seen one away from the coast. Glad you finally got that TUDU, took long enough!

  6. HIGH FIVE On one Tough Duck..pun intended! That hawk would have had me scratching my head for sure. AND a BLk Scoter? amazing!
    I do the same thing when I have my dogs, I stand on their leases!! They have learned to just sit and wait...Dogs are so dang smart!!

    1. Haha, I know I'm always impressed with their patience!


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