Hen Lesser Scaup Duck
What? You thought I was going to say “Goose!”? I spotted the pretty Lesser Scaup ducks along with the Common Coot at a local small park lake. These cute ducks are pretty used to being around visitors so I was able to get pretty close to a lot of them.
I took the pictures yesterday, Jan. 31, 2016, late in the afternoon. It was a cool, cloudy day here, but the good news is that it is warming up a bit. I am glad. Not that Florida’s weather is anything to really complain about! Please click on the thumbnail images to see the larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
Drake Lesser Scaup Duck
Drake Lesser Scaup and Common Coot
A Pair of Lesser Scaup Ducks
Lesser Scaup Ducks have been here in a small flock for the last few weeks. They are migratory Winter visitors to our lakes and ponds. These cute medium-sized diving ducks are beautiful with the drakes being basic tuxedo black, and white and a touch of barred grey. The hens are a lovely dark and light brown. Both have broad blue bills.
The Lesser Scaups like the conditions in fresh water better than that of salt water, which is a major difference between them and the Greater Scaups. I took these pictures on December 17, 1015 and again on December 18, 2015. This post and the one I will write for Wednesday, will be about ducks. No post on Christmas but I will catch up on Saturday. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
Hen Mallard Duck
Hooded Merganser Ducks
Here are some of the ducks that have been here in my area in the last week or so. I have spotted a flock of Hooded Mergansers, the ever-present Mallard Ducks, a lot of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, a few Lesser Scaup Ducks, and at least two Bufflehead Ducks! Quite the bunch. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
Hen Mallard Duck
Hen Bufflehead Duck
Lesser Scaup Ducks
Yesterday afternoon I saw a couple of drake Lesser Scaup ducks here on the little farm pond. These are the first Lesser Scaups I have seen on the pond. These are migrant visitors but are not uncommon in Tennessee in the Winter months. Lesser Scaup drakes have a black head that has a greenish iridescence, black neck, chest and tail, white sides and a light grey back. The hens are a medium brown color with a slightly darker brown head.
Lesser Scaups are diving ducks that mostly eat aquatic snails, small crayfish, and aquatic insects. They are common on ponds, slower rivers, and lakes. The drakes are easily confused with the much less commonly seen Greater Scaup (greenish tinge to the black head). The drakes are also faintly similar to the drake Ring-Necked duck (white band near the end of the bill and the white on the shoulders and back of the neck). I am very happy to have seen these handsome ducks and took their picture on Feb. 20, 2012 in my yard. By the way, although we had a bit of snow two days ago, the snow had melted and yesterday was a sunny warmer day! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Lesser Scaup Ducks, Red Head Ducks, Mallard Ducks, Northern Pintail Ducks, and the gorgeous Bufflehead Ducks were all in abundance on the 101 acre private community lake here on December 30, 2010, and December 31, 2010. I also took pictures of the Red Head Ducks on Jan. 1, 2011. The Lesser Scaup Ducks were in a large flock with many Mallard Ducks. There were also a few Canada Geese, Western Grebes, Pied-Billed Grebes and lots of American Coots out on the lake, too. The Scaups, Red Heads and Buffleheads are diving ducks and all seemed a bit smaller than the Mallards. The Ducks looked like they were in prime condition with brilliant feather colors. I so enjoyed seeing the huge numbers here! The Bufflehead Duck males are mostly white with black accents. The Bufflehead females, or hens, are dark brown with white accents, and look like almost an opposite of the male or drake. The Northern Pintail Duck has that upright stiff tail that is fairly long. The Mallard male has a green head, grey and buff body with charcoal accents. The female Mallard is mostly a medium tan with streaks of dark brown and white. The Lesser Scaup Ducks, Pintail Ducks, Red Heads and Buffleheads are migrant visitors. So are the Coots. We do have the Mallards here year around as we also have Wood Ducks off and on for most of the year. All are lovely! By the way, no hunting is allowed on or around the lake here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
A Red-Tailed Hawk has decided that one of my backyard Oak Trees is a fine place to temporarily perch. The Red-Tailed Hawk has visited my backyard for several hours in the afternoons of both December 30, 2010 and December 31, 2010, and the morning of 12/31/10. I took these pictures from my deck and from my upstairs windows. The bird seemed to very very tolerant of quiet humans being outside. There were many American Coots around here plus the huge numbers of Ducks. We also have several Eastern Chipmunks and loads of Grey Squirrels. All can be prey for this large raptor. It sure is a beautiful bird to see up close. It must be the time of year for the birds to have fresh beautiful and colorful feathers. Most seem to have the most elegant array of feathering. I was happy to see it even if it did scare all of the small animals into hiding. The presence of the Hawk did cause the Ducks to paddle a bit farther away from the shore, and some Ducks such as the Lesser Scaups, dove under the water. Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Pair of Bufflehead Ducks and Female Lesser Scaup Duck (top)
The Lesser Scaup Ducks, Bufflehead Ducks, and Mallard Ducks were all happily paddling in mass along the shoreline near my dock. Our 101 acre private community lake where I live had been frozen for the past week and just thawed out during the evening of 12/30/10. I took these pictures yesterday from my living room window, my back deck and from a window in my basement. I have never seen so many ducks in the same place at the same time here. There must have been about two hundred ducks in all. We also had the American Coots and the Canada Geese here. This is the first of two posts with these pictures of the Ducks. I’ll post the other here soon.
I will keep this post short and very sweet. Happy New Year to all! Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture!