[TN-Bird] Greater Scaup in Anderson County

  • From: Carole Gobert <cpgobert@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Tennessee Bird List <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2010 17:20:49 -0400

This afternoon (3:10 - 4:15 pm) at the Eagle Bend Fish Hatchery in Clinton, 
Anderson County, TN, I observed a male Greater Scaup.  He was/is on a lower 
pond, on the left as you drive in; it's the pond across the road from the hill 
that goes up to the upper pond.  He was very cooperative, didn't flush (as I 
feared he would) when I got out of my car and set up my scope.  Eventually the 
two Mallards and two Canada Geese on that pond left but he remained.  At that 
point he was diving but staying down for only short periods.

 

He's a beautiful bird with his head glowing green in the sunlight.  I studied 
him very carefully as I know how difficult it is to tell the scaup apart.  I 
had a couple of guides/reference books in the car that I referred to while 
looking at him.  His forehead rose nearly vertically from his bill.  At first 
his head looked mostly flat on top and rounded in the back.  Then when he 
started diving, it was actually higher in the front. Looking at his bill 
head-on, the nail was dome shaped, higher at the tip and sloping down on each 
side.  

 

I hadn't been to the hatchery in a while and the Buffleheads that were there 
all winter have left.  Aside from Canada Geese and Mallards, the scaup was the 
only waterfowl I saw.

 

There is now water on the upper pond but the only birds up there were a Mallard 
pair and two Ring-billed Gulls.

 

I had my FOS Tree Swallows in Anderson County today.  One at Norris and two at 
Eagle Bend.

 

Carole Gobert, Knoxville, Knox County, TN
                                          
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