Date: 11/2/19 8:10 pm
From: <whoffman...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Hagg Lake HARLE?
Hi -

I agree with Lars' statement about single photos.

However, this one looks a lot more like a Harlequin than a Surf Scoter. First, the bill appears small and the forehead steep. Second, the pattern of big vertically oriented whitish spot forward and small round spot back on the face fits female Harlequin better than scoter.

Harlequins do have a blue-gray bill, but in females it often appears darker than in males.

As Lars described, a few Harlequins have nested in Tillamook Co. rivers, but most of the nesting in the lower 48 is further inland, in the Cascades, and particularly in the Rockies. Those birds migrate pretty much east-west to the coast (and to the Salish Sea). I would think a bird showing up on an inland lake or stream in Oregon in fall would be enroute from a more inland breeding area.


From: "Lars Per Norgren" <larspernorgren...>
To: "obol" <OBOL...>
Sent: Saturday, November 2, 2019 8:10:32 PM
Subject: [obol] Hagg Lake HARLE?

Never base an ID on a single photo. But...l'm going to suggest first year female Surf Scoter. I agree that Harlequin is readily conjured by this image. But the bill is all black and Harlequins of all ages and gender have a blue gray bill, kind of like a Bufflehead. Mainly, there's lots of Surf Scoters passing through inland areas right now. They frequent deep, still water . At least one pair of Harlequins has been at Hagg Lake before--in April and at the mouth of Scoggins Creek or similar major Inlet.
Harlequins have historically bred on the Wilson and Trask Rivers. I imagine the Wilson has too much human traffic nowadays. But the upper Trask may offer more solitude, and is close to the headwaters of Scoggins Creek. I think the males are already moving to salt water in June and July. The females and hatch year birds in August if not sooner.

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

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