Bird #219 — White-winged Scoter

melanitta (from melos, black, and netta, duck) fusca (dusky)

Sunday, February 14, 1982 — 2:35 pm

Racine, Wisconsin — Wind Point — Lake Michigan

A flock of about 15 White-winged Scoters were flying south approximately a quarter mile off the point.  They flew in single-file, just above the surface.  They bunched up close together for a while, then stretched out in a long, stringy line, then bunched up again.  They continued in this fashion until they disappeared from view.

A second flock was also headed south, led by a female for a while.  As I watched, they slowed and landed, gliding in near a flock of Red-breasted Mergansers.  They floated, usually hidden behind the waves.  The Mergansers took off, followed by two scoters.  I couldn’t find the others.  I imagine they took off below wave level. I also saw individuals and small groups headed north and south.

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