The Surf Scoter, once seen in the Bay by the thousands, is a rare bird now. This lone individual, paddling vigorously just off the northeast corner of the park, is the only one I’ve seen since May of last year, when there was a pair. Those birds appeared after a gap of three years since the previous one, seen in May 2015.
A recent article in Bay Nature reported a dramatic revival of Surf Scoter numbers in the Central Bay in the winter of 2018-19 and held out hope for an enduring recovery. However, in the North Basin so far this has been the only bird of its kind. The fact that it’s here very early in the migration season may promise that more are on their way.