Monday, January 29, 2007

Female Greater Scaup in Denver County

January 28, 2007

Stan Roth asked me to checkout Greater Scaup sightings along the South Platte River at West Evans Avenue. I eventually hiked a 1/2 mile in either direction of the W. Evans Bridge (Denver County).

At 400 yards north of the bridge, I found a flock of 10 male and 7 female Ring-necked Ducks. An adult female Greater Scaup was among them. When a jogger came down the bike path, the Ring-necked Ducks swam north, while the Greater Scaup went south (upstream).

Her rounded head stood out among the pointed heads of the Ring-necked Ducks.

Later, I relocated the female Greater Scaup among 5 male and 3 female Lesser Scaups. They were about 50 yards north of the Evans Bridge. Her yellow eyes stood out among the brown eyed female Lesser Scaups. Her rounded head and longer, wider bill clinched the sighting. I was not able to find any male Greater Scaups.

Note added 1/29:
I took photos of the 9 scaups on the Platte. As I was leaving, another 5 male scaups flew in from upstream. Looking at the photos this morning, I noticed that one of them was a male Greater Scaup.

Thanks much for David Symonds for finding and reporting the scaup!

A couple of male Common Goldeneyes were also in the area.

Both Veterans and Memorial Lakes at Fort Logan National Cemetery were completely frozen and snow covered. A few Canada Geese walked around the snow covered fields.

Later, I met Rebecca Kosten, Bryan & Sue Ehlmann at the Denver West Office Complex (Jefferson). We hiked around for about an hour. During our stay we counted 2 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch, 2 White-breasted Nuthatches, a dozen Dark-eyed Juncos, and 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet!

We missed the Eastern Screech-Owl at Wheat Ridge Greenbelt.

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