Harlequin


Brian Fitch
 

Female heading south from Sutro with a small scoter flock.
Brian Fitch


Brian Fitch
 

The Harlequin flew in from the open ocean adjacent to a few Surf Scoters, but the group turned south before ever coming very close.  The Harley was clearly smaller by several inches, was dark throughout the body except for a pale belly, and had dark wings below and above.  I never got a decent look at the face, but the silhouette profile showed the truncated bill compared to the scoters.  It flew south well beyond the rocks and then turned a little southwest before I lost it in the glare.  The only other duck species was a single Greater Scaup heading north, and bird variety otherwise remained unusually low.

The other highlight was a Sea Otter, seen briefly swimming north just east of North Rock.  The frosted whiskery face made it clear that our River Otter was not returning to devour more gulls, but another set of huge waves came in and I didn't get to see it again.  Upon returning home and telling my wife, she said that the Chronicle ran an article about the species being seen more in the region recently.  I think I've had three prior sightings at Sutro, but this was my first in many years.

Brian Fitch


On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 9:42 AM Brian Fitch via groups.io <fogeggs=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
Female heading south from Sutro with a small scoter flock.
Brian Fitch