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!!