It was a total surprise to see this adult male Surf Scoter off the west shore of the park. It was keeping loose company with a small flock of scaup and almost blended in, but not quite. That beak!
I’d seen no other Surf Scoters for weeks and had never seen any in this location. This was a bachelor bird out all by himself.
Surf Scoters as a rule breed in the far north, where the boreal forest yields to open tundra. But apparently some individuals skip the migration and stay in their wintering grounds all year. This guy may be one of those. Or he may just be on a personal rest stop on his way back north.