Scaup, Coot, and Waldo

Hundreds of Scaup hung out in the North Basin this morning, plus a handful of Coot, and one Bufflehead who looked like he was auditioning for a “Where’s Waldo” picture.  The Scaup are a familiar sight around the park, and I’ve photographed them several times.  My feeling is that the numbers I saw this morning exceeded what I’ve seen in previous years.  There were three separate flocks of them, each with at least a hundred birds.  The small bunch of Coot stayed to themselves near the Virginia Street extension on the south side of the North Basin.  In the photos below, can you spot the solo Bufflehead swimming with the Scaup?  The Scaup paid no particular attention to the Bufflehead; he scooted among them as if he were a member of their tribe.  Do birds get confused about their species identity sometimes, like in the Ugly Duckling fairy tale?  

Part of the scores of Scaup on the North Basin this morning
Handful of Coot stayed away from the masses of Scaup
Can you spot the Bufflehead among the Scaup?

 

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