[CT Birds] King Eiders

Larson Eric eric_r_larson at hotmail.com
Sun Feb 14 15:10:10 EST 2010


Feb 14, 2010, Enders Island, Mystic 1:30-230PM 

 

Judy and I were back out at Enders this afternoon, but the wind was up, and there were only scattered birds off of the Island. To clarify for the List why we felt confident in identifying the birds as King rather than common Eiders, here's the content of the note sent to Patrick yesterday in reply to his question regarding the sighting:  

 

"The birds were observed approximately 25-50 meters off of the east side of Enders Island, along with a significant number of actively feeding Common Loons and Red-Breasted Mergansers.  The location is on Fisher Island Sound, approx 4 miles from the open Atlantic.  We were able to observe the birds with binoculars and field scope for approximately 15 minutes, and initially thought they were Common Eiders, but were taken by their smaller, rounded head shape, especially distinctly smaller bills, very dark on the females, and orange on the male.  The bills were more duck-like than we see in the Commons. The females were warm brown, distinct from the grayer brown we usually see in the Commons. We had trouble making out the side markings on the females to distinguish them further.  The male was overall dark gray with a dull gray fading, forward to dirty-white, breast and a distinct femoral white patch.  He also had light, circular eye rings."

 

I presume when Patrick says these would be the only King Eiders reported in the US, he's talking about for this year's  GBBC.  The eBird site lists three independent sightings of King Eider(s) January 15/16, 2010 off of Hammonasset, with four sightings down the Sound in Dec 2008 to Jan 2009, plus four sightings in the same periods, 20 miles away in Rhode Island.  It doesn't seem out of the question that the birds may be found around here, at this time of year.  

 

Eric 

 

 

 


> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 14
> Date: Sun, 14 Feb 2010 10:42:35 -0500
> From: "COMINS, Patrick" <PCOMINS at audubon.org>
> To: "ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org" <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
> Subject: [CT Birds] King Eider Report in Mystic and GBBC update
> Message-ID:
> <ED5AF7FCB680574685E9B838706187150192ED4C11 at cardinal.int.audubon.org>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> 
> We got a report of 4 King Eiders near Enders Island in Mystic on the GBBC (3 female and 1 immature male) in case anyone is out and about in that part of the state. It's doubtful that we could accept the records without a photo or multiple observers because of the rarity of this species in the US. (so far these would be the only King Eiders reported in the US, with the only other being a singe individual in Quebec).
> 
> We're up to 124 species on the count, not counting the King Eiders. Some species that are so far missing that have been reported recently include: Golden Eagle, Harlequin Duck, Common Snipe and probably a few others.
> 
> Patrick Comins, Meriden.
> 
> 
> 
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> End of CTBirds Digest, Vol 1085, Issue 1
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