[CT Birds] Very probable King Eiders Sunken Island

James Purcell jpurcell1616 at gmail.com
Sun Mar 2 17:20:22 EST 2014


I just came back from Sunken Island where I observed 3 very probable King
Eiders (two females and one first year male) for a half an hour. I first
observed the birds on their own, then they flew up and in a wide circle
before landing amongst the rafts of scaup, where they disappeared
remarkably well. Then they spent a lot of time around one rock, often
disappearing behind it and even all standing on top of it at one point.

I say very probable because I'm not 100% confident about the ID due to the
poor backlit conditions and the distance. However, I'm still fairly
confident that they were Kings as opposed to Commons, mostly because of the
bill structure which totally lacked the huge, sloped bill of a Common and
was much smaller and more dabbler-like. I also occasionally caught hints of
the orange-yellow bill on the first year male. The birds were also fairly
close in size to the scaup they were with, and therefore seemed too small
for Commons.

Sunken Island is best viewed from the very end (western end) of Fairfield
Beach Road, which is like a small parking lot where you can park and scan
the water.

James Purcell
Fairfield



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