November 12, 2009

White-winged Scoter

Early this afternoon a birding friend of mine, Paul, called me to tell me that a White-winged Scoter was seen near Yankton, SD in Nebraska which is only about 1 and 1/2 hours from my home. There is a large lake there formed by a dam which draws in a number of water birds but for some reason the scoter decided to go to a sewage lagoon near there instead. This scoter, which would be a life bird, would also be the last scoter I needed on my life list. I have seen one Black and several Surf Scoters before but no White-wings.

We drove up to see it and when we got to the lagoon we immediately found the scoter swimming around with a gorgeous adult male Redhead. The scoter was life bird 341 for me and it was a new state bird for my friend. This is not the first time I have seen good birds on sewage lagoons. I have seen Barrow's Goldeneye (self found, accidental in Iowa), Snowy Plover, Piping Plover, Least Tern, Ruddy Turnstone and much more at a couple local lagoons by where I live in western Iowa. The lagoons may stink (luckily the one near Yankton didn't) but the birds that you find in them sure don't!

A couple other birds were seen while we were up there including three Western Grebe, some Cackling Geese, and a Bonaparte's Gull.


Jenny said...

Well done on the 'life bird'. Nice that is was not too distant. Over here in Britain, we only get them on the sea and they are invarably way out there! (-:

Jann said...

A lifer hard-earned; way to go!