Estero Bluffs: Harlequin Duck

petra schaaf

We birded Estero Bluffs today, between the access points at San Geronimo Creek and the Fig Tree.

Shorebirds included Black-bellied Plovers, Semi-palmated Plovers, Spotted Sandpipers, Western and/or Least Sandpipers, Killdeer, Whimbrels. Further out were Black and Ruddy Turnstones, Black Oystercatchers, Gulls, Cormorants, Brown Pelicans, Elegant Terns, a Kingfisher. Highlight was a HARLEQUIN DUCK.

Tom Edell looked at my photos and commented:
"The Harlequin Duck maybe the same one Roger photographed [September 4], but it showed prominent white in the greater coverts and was a basic plumaged male.  The bird I had off Toro Creek [October 13] was a male in definitive (breeding) plumage.  So possibly the same bird Roger had, but definitely not the bird I reported. Then again the lack of white in the greater coverts may indicate your bird is a female."

ID photos:

Jack and Petra Clayton
Los Osos, CA

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