LOUISIANA BIRD RECORDS COMMITTEE

REPORT FORM

    

1. English and Scientific names: White-winged Scoter; Melanitta fusca

2. Number of individuals, sexes, ages, general plumage (e.g., 2 in alternate plumage):

1 immature.

 

3. Locality: LOUISIANA: (parish) _____Jackson_____________________________

Specific Locality: _______Chatham Lake______________________________

4. Date(s) when observed: 2 February, 2014

 

5. Time(s) of day when observed: 10:40am to 11:20am

 

6. Reporting observer and address: John Dillon, Athens, LA 71003

 

7. Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s): Steve Pagans, Gerry Click

 

8. Other observers who independently identified the bird(s): Jeff Wilson, Willie Matthews

 

9. Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light): Conditions were not very good at all, but the bird was so close it didnt really matter. Large cold front with intermittent showers and mist at time of observation.

 

10. Optical equipment (type, power, condition): Alpen 20-60x scope; Alpen Rainier 8x42 bins; both good condition.

 

11. Distance to bird(s): 220 - 500 feet per Google Earth

 

12. Duration of observation: 40 minutes

 

13. Habitat: small (1000 acres??) freshwater lake in town of Chatham.

 

14. Behavior of bird / circumstances of observation (flying, feeding, resting; include and stress habits used in identification; relate events surrounding observation): mostly diving but would occasionally stay up for a few minutes at a time. Could stay down sometimes for a couple minutes, much longer than scaup, grebes, the usual divers.

 

15. Description (include only what was actually seen, not what "should" have been seen; include if possible: total length/relative size compared to other familiar species, body bulk, shape, proportions, bill, eye, leg, and plumage characteristics. Stress features that separate it from similar species): Dark diving duck, appearing mostly black with obvious brownish tones through scope and in photos. Probably 25-35% larger than nearby Lesser Scaup. Long dark bill with white patch of feathers at basal end, between bill and eye. Slightly larger white patch behind and below eye. White wing bar seen easily even with folded wing. Eye dark. See photos.

 

16. Voice: Not heard.

 

17. Similar species (include how they were eliminated by your observation): female LESC and RNDU do not not white patch behind/below eye. This bird was also noticeably larger than both sexes of nearby scaup. Darker overall than LESC, also, with much longer bill. Probably twice the size of a Ruddy Duck. Darker than other usual diving species like CANV, REDH. Black Scoter has no wing bar and does not have two distinct white facial patches. Surf Scoter has no wing bar and has different head shape.

 

18. Photographs or tape recordings obtained? (by whom? attached?): Yes. Two of mine are attached; others of mine are available upon request if necessary.

 

19. Previous experience with this species: None.

 

20. Identification aids: (list books, illustrations, other birders, etc. used in identification):

 

a. at time of observation: None at the time; stakeout bird found on previous day by Jeff Wilson or Willie Matthews, not sure who got it first.

 

b. after observation: Nat Geo 6th ed. Sibley.

 

21. This description is written from: _____ notes made during the observation (_____notes attached?);_____notes made after the observation (date:_____); ___X__memory.

22. Are you positive of your identification if not, explain: Yes.

 

23. Signature of reporter: __John Dillon__________Date:_5 Feb, 2014__Time:2:20pm.