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Diving ducks in California


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Saw these ducks last year from afar on the way to Point Reyes National Seashore, greatly appreciate any help with the IDs! Leaning towards juvenile white-winged scoters and lesser scaups (narrow black tip on bill) for the two birds. Thanks in advance.



scaup 2.jpg

scaup 3.jpg

scaup 4.jpg

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On the scoters, look at the shape of the feathering at the base of the bill. On Surf, it forms that neat rectangle around the base of the bill. On White-winged, it will extend forwards almost to the nostrils. From a distance, this makes for different shapes in the front white spot -- ending at a vertical line on Surf, as an oval on White-winged.

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