Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dovekie and More

The reason I traveled up to Provincetown was to visit MacMillan's Pier that juts out into the harbor.  There have been reports of Dovekie's present in the harbor and the last time I had obtained a photograph of the Dovekie was about 30 years ago, on New Year's Day in the picture was taken with slide film (and I don't know where they are).  When we first arrived and searched out the water of the harbor no Dovekie's was seen, but, red-breasted mergansers, common eiders and some horned grebes were present.  So out came the camera and lenses and we started taking pictures of these birds.  At the far right end of the pier a bird was swimming, with my binocular's I ID it: a long-tailed duck, a beautiful male in winter plumage.'s.  Snap, snap, went the shutter and I captured the bird for posterity. 
Long-tailed Duck

We roamed around  photographing the more common species. Suddenly, in the water between two of the docks suddenly appeared two Dovekie's.  Again, snap, snap went the shutter and I now had Dovekie pictures digitally.

When I downloaded the pictures into my computer and was reviewing them, what I had thought initially on the pier was a female red-breasted merganser turned out to be a first-year male red-breasted merganser.  The way to tell the first year-male from a female red-breasted merganser, is that the male red-breasted merganser as a black ring around its eye, while the female red-breasted merganser has a white line under its eye.
First Winter Red-breasted Merganser