“Life Bird #455″
On April 22nd in the small hamlet of Fennville Michigan, at the waster water treatment facility a birder was checking out all the waterfowl that had congregated on the 3 small holding ponds. Amongst all the Lesser Scaup, Buffelheads, Horned Grebes, Mallards and Blue-winged Teal was a Scaup species with a all black back. That’s no Scaup, that’s a Tufted Duck!
I’ve been keeping tabs on this bird as soon as it was posted on the ABA Rare Bird Alert Facebook page.
The duck seemed pretty content and would leave from time to time, but always returning to the same location. So when Sunday morning came and the weather turned from rainy to sunny, I figured why not chase it. What are my chances of ever seeing a bird like this unless I’m on the East coast where they seem to show up somewhat regularly. It was a 330 mile one way trip, and I really wanted to drive home after seeing the bird. So off I went.
Being a Sunday morning traffic was pretty light until I got to Kalamazoo, but still it wasn’t that bad. I got to Fennville, found the waste water treatment facility at 3:10 pm.
Even at a distance of 700 feet, I quickly re-found the bird and was able to assist other birders find it. Owning a spotting scope sure does pay off at times like these.
Most of the time while I was there it kept it’s head tucked so you weren’t able to see it’s tell tale “tuft”. So when it finally raised it’s head I just started snapping away in hopes of capturing one head shot with the Tuft showing.
The bottom photo I included to show the color comparison on the back between the Lesser Scaup and the Tufted Duck.
It was a long day and I didn’t get home till after 10 pm, however I got my lifer # 455!