Saturday, December 30, 2017

December 30 - Last Outing in 2017

The weather before the New Year was not very good for birding, so this was my only outing after Boxing Day. I had not been at White Rock Pier for quite a while and I still was missing Greater Scaup on my year list. The Pier was the best spot to look.

My usual parking lot was nearly empty and after I paid my $3.00, I realized why. There was construction in the area and I had to walk around it, past the lot where all the other visitors were parked.

Once you're out on the pier, the views of White Rock can be spectacular, especially when there's a train going through.

There were numerous diving ducks in close range including both female and male White-winged Scoters.

White-winged Scoter (F) - White Rock Pier, White Rock BC

White-winged Scoter - White Rock Pier, White Rock BC

Another common diving duck here is the Bufflehead. The male is difficult to photograph because of the contrast between the dark and light plumage. It's a rare photo that captures the dark eyes. This one was a decent attempt.

Bufflehead - White Rock Pier, White Rock BC

I reached the end of the pier and spotted a female Common Goldeneye.

Common Goldeneye (F)  - White Rock Pier, White Rock BC

Nearby I found my target bird, a female Greater Scaup. The Lesser and Greater are tricky to differentiate, the Lesser prefer fresh water, the Greater like salt water. The best ID mark is the shape of the head. The Lesser has a peak at the back of the head while the Greater has a backward sloping angle. This bird definitely has the slope at the back.

Greater Scaup (F) - White Rock Pier, White Rock BC - 2017 Bird #222

This was my last species for the year.

On the way back, I took some more shots of the Scoters and the Bufflehead.

White-winged Scoter - White Rock Pier, White Rock BC

This one caught something, but lost it back in the water a few seconds later.

Finally, this Bufflehead had some attitude.

Bufflehead - White Rock Pier, White Rock BC

This is the second to last post of the blog, I'll wrap it up with a best photos of the year post.

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