December 7, 2008

Black Scoter and more...

Today at noon I went online and read that a Lesser Back-backed Gull and a Black Scoter were at a dam near Yankton, SD just a couple hours before the post came out. Both of these species would be life birds for me so after talking to my mom she decided to drive me up there. We packed up and were on the road in about ten minutes. About an hour and a half later we were at the dam. I began scoping the half-frozen lake for the gull with no success. Many Ring-billed and Herring Gulls were out on the ice, but no black-backed. I saw some waterfowl above the dam such as Common Goldeneye and Common Merganser as well as a young Bald Eagle that was trying to make a meal out of one of them. After a long time of searching I went below the dam to look. We came across another birder who had no luck of seeing the gull either. We decided to look along the river for the scoter since it looked like the gull wasn't going to be found. A few moments later the other birder came back and told us that he had found the Black Scoter. My mom and I went to where he said it was and found it right away. Since the bird appeared to be closer to the other side we went over there and got some photos of it. We went home satisfied, even though the gull eluded us.

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