Swan Lake Scaups

Cloudy with periods of rain. Breezy and cool. Snow level down to around 2000 feet.

Connor flew south on the early flight. I headed out late this morning with the intention of going to get the car. Fortunately he parked in 7 day parking, since I was downtown before I realized I had not brought the spare key with me.

When I had started out the rain was light, but it had gotten heavier. That and the blowing wind diminished my motivation for going back home and then heading out again.

Instead I checked on prices of note cards at a couple shops downtown. I will probably get some printed, and it looks like I should aim for a retail price around $4-$6 depending on size and quality.

I got a report of an odd looking scaup. My first impression of the photos was Greater Scaup. However, its bill was oddly pale behind the tip, more like a Ring-necked Duck.

Conditions weren’t great, but I spent some time hunkered under a tree at the lake trying to get some photos. I’m pretty sure the bird is a Greater Scaup. In reviewing photos, I’ve seen others that have a similar pale (though not quite as pronounced). This bird is nearing completion of molt into adult plumage, and I think that is also contributing to its slightly off look. The shape and size seemed consistent with Greater Scaup. It didn’t stand out to me from the others that were there. I would expect a hybrid to have at least some difference in head shape and size, given how much different a Ring-necked Duck is.

I returned this evening when the clouds had thinned and the rain let up and got slightly better photos.

The Hooded Merganser was on the lake, as was the Pied-billed Grebe. The latter is showing the dark bar on its beak now.

I spent part of the day trying to work out where to get note cards printed. I may try a couple different places and see about quality and service. Pricing varies significantly, and it looks like shipping charges might as well. It would be easy to dither on a decision, but it’s probably best to just get some printed in small volumes, see what I learn, then do larger volumes with that in mind.

My iNaturalist Observations for Today

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