Date: 11/7/18 5:18 pm
From: Daniel Mason <millipede1977...>
Subject: quack
It's painful, sometimes, seeing reports of far away interesting birds...
even more painful when they're only 30 minutes or so from you and you
just can't get there. A black scoter? And my wife has to work Saturday
so I couldn't get out there even for the field trip.

Even more frustrating is the lake right here in Siloam Springs... seeing
a lot of ducks there and just not getting good enough view or pictures
of all of them. Could there have been a scoter mixed in? something else
interesting? I got lots of pictures but none are great. I did get to
confirm what I thought I saw in the field... 2 horned grebes. I don't
bird there every day, for sure, and I've only been birding there about 5
years(I think) but, this is the first time I've seen anything but the
normal pied-billed grebes... so it was exciting to see.

It was about 4:45 by the time I got there and because of the clouds, no
sunlight was shining down on the lake. Add in some distance and a not so
fabulous scope... it was just tough looking at them(and hearing lots of
various quacks and squeeks...)

My pictures confirmed most of my in the field ID's. Counted 3 hooded
mergansers in the field... at least 4 in the pictures. Green-winged teal
added up to at least 17 when they flushed/flew together a bit...
northern shovelers, gadwall, ring-necked ducks, scaups...

I also noted one duck all by itself, just a little ways from the
rafts... Pictures show a weird, almost scoter type shape but, I'm seeing
what I want to see there. HA...  it's just a blurry picture that could
be almost anything. Got pictures of some that have colors that look
odd... maybe a wigeon in there?  And even in the field, I noticed a duck
or two where I could clearly see some visible white border to both sides
of the speculum. That might not be anything of interest but, it was
something I picked up on pretty quickly.
I'd have to guess between 50 and 100 ducks there easily.
Not sure what the weather is in the morning but it sure is tempted to
beg someone for a ride. HA...

And I'm still waiting to somehow win the lottery(without playing it) so
I can buy a new camera, scope, and tripod... and a second vehicle. One
vehicle for a family of 7 gets tricks sometimes, and frustrating when I
want to be less than responsible and just bird bird bird...(HA) but it
saves money.

I was using the scope today without a tripod as, well it's somewhere...
it's a wobbly tripod anyway...
It has 20x, 40x, and 60x.  20x is the only one worth using. Things are
okay to look at on that setting but if you go up, the field of view
shrinks dramatically and makes it a strain to focus on anything. Still,
the 20x is better than the 10x on the binoculars.
That's what I get for a $60(I think) scope from harbor freight.

Of course, I'm still daydreaming of my plans to make a partially
submersible boat that is decorated/camouflaged like a log where I can
drift along slowly across these lakes with most of my body below water
level, trying to look like a log so I can drift near one of these rafts
and get good looks and pictures...  I can dream right? :)

Ducks...  they're one of my favorites to watch...

Daniel Mason

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