Feb 15 2014 Iona Regional Park. Cold, overcast then torrential rain.
On arrival many birders and a few photographers were mostly huddled around their cars discussing how wonderful it was to have seen the Tufted Duck. That can be ominous for the late arrivals like myself. Indeed, the bird had just flown a few minutes earlier, it would be another hour of searching before the very rare visitor from Eurasia was again spotted.
Talk about a needle in a haystack. The Tufted Duck resembles its close relative the Lesser Scaup except for a darker back and of course the long dangling tuft. Had it not been for a number of experienced birders armed with scopes I would have had difficulty locating this single bird out of the large flock of Lesser Scaup in the ponds.
|Spot the Tufted Duck!|
|The Tufted Duck in the foreground (Aythya fuligula)|
Note the dark back compared to the Lesser Scaup behind.