Date: 11/5/17 4:55 pm From: Alan Buriak <a_buriak...> Subject: Surf Scoter, Cattle Egret - Armstrong County
This morning, Sam Gutherie and I went out to the Distant area at dawn to go for the Cattle Egret found Thursday by John and Avis Keener. Upon first arrival, the Cattle Egret was nowhere to be seen, however after a couple minutes, it came flying in and spent the rest of the time foraging actively around the edge of the pond and we had great views from the roadside. Later I went out to Keystone Lake nearby and had some good action on both the mudflats and out in the lake, with a Black-bellied Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Bonaparte's Gulls, and various waterfowl similar to what Michael David had reported yesterday. In the very center of the lake at an extreme distance I could make out a single scoter sleeping near a group of 6 Common Loons. The bird finally woke up and I got it in the scope and snapped some pictures with a superzoom, expecting to see one of the Black Scoters from yesterday. I initially struggled to settle on an ID due to the crazy distance and because I was chased out by an oncoming storm, however after looking at my very poor pictures, it is actually a Surf Scoter, showing two distinct white facial patches, the front oriented more vertically. It will be only the 2nd county record in eBird, and the first for Keystone Lake.