If you've been out to the count you know the birds can be distant, but the top photo shows part of a flock of over 100 scoters, and the bottom one shows scoters and Long-tailed Ducks. The scoter flock in the top photo included approximately 50 of today's 69 Black Scoters (I should have left the file size larger for these photos). It was a very nice flight overall so I stayed at the tip until it died two hours after the official count period. The totals included 6,219 Long-tailed Ducks, and 518 White-winged Scoters. Occurring in more modest numbers were Canada Goose, American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Greater and Lesser Scaup, Surf Scoter, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Common, Hooded, and Red-breasted Mergansers, Red-throated and Common Loon, and Red-necked Grebe.
Others: The number of Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers were down from the large numbers being seen recently, but the season's first Red-bellied Woodpecker made a brief appearance on one of the Sharpy sticks today. Snow Bunting numbers increased today and decent numbers of Horned Lark and Lapland Longspur were also present. The Northern Shrike and a Northern Goshawk also made appearances. Tom ordered a DSLR camera so hopefully the waterbird blog will include photos more frequently very soon. They may be underexposed and out of focus, but what can you do?