[CT Birds] Sick White-winged Scoter?

Bob MacDonnell bob at macdonnellphoto.com
Sun Mar 4 12:17:47 EST 2012

Regarding James's observation of a White-winged Scoter out of water, I  
was at Sandy Point early one morning a couple years ago when a drake  
WW Scoter swam towards shore directly at me and hung out close to the  
shore. A short time later a drake Long-tailed Duck swam into the  
shallows almost the same way the scoter did and then walked out onto  
the beach a few yards from me. The scoter then proceeded to follow the  
Oldsquaw onto the beach where they both plopped down a few feet apart  
from each other. I thought something had happened to them, perhaps  
some kind of spill in New Haven Harbor. I spent quite a while taking  
pictures and other beach walkers passed by but the ducks were unmoved.  
Finally they got up and swam off just as they had arrived, both  
seemingly in fine health. Later, I thought this odd behavior might  
have been due to fatigue from migration as it was in July. If I  
remember correctly, a young scoter also spent quite a while at  
Hammonasset close to shore a few years ago as well. Anyway, I guess  
it's difficult to know why they do it, but I have seen it before.

Here's a couple links to photos of the strange encounter:


Bob MacDonnell

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