Scaup on Rock

Greater Scaup male (Aythya marila)

What’s so special about this scaup? Only that it’s out of the water. I’ve seen literally thousands of scaup in the North Basin. This is the first one I’ve seen dry on a rock.

Mallards are completely amphibian, at home as much on land as on water. Coots, which are not ducks, are similar; they can mow a lawn with their beaks as easily as they clean seaweed off rocks. I once saw a Common Goldeneye on a rock that’s a neighbor to this one, but only once. Never a scaup.

What made him do that? No idea. Seemed to be enjoying the sunshine. Maybe he’ll be a model for his friends and soon we’ll see scaup taking the sun all over the shoreline.

The next day, a scaup female just a few feet away from the rock where the male had sunned himself stood quietly on a submerged stone with her feet wet but the rest of her body out of the water. I never saw that before, either.

Greater Scaup female (Aythya marila)

That was the extent of my sightings of dry, or mostly dry, scaup. In the following days the random flocks of them that came to spend the day and rest from their nocturnal migration all stayed in the water, mostly sleeping, before moving on northward.

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