Date: 11/16/19 4:36 am
From: <t4c1x...>
Subject: [obol] oddly plumaged duck

Yesterday at the Lincoln City sewage ponds I saw an oddly plumaged duck, which I was unable to identify. The difficulty was due in part to the fact I had binoculars, but no scope, and in part to the fact the duck was very nondescript. It was basically brown, with few descriptive marks. Also, it was by itself, the closest other ducks being a hundred or more feet away.
The most noticeable feature was a pale chest, brownish-white in color, contrasting with the rest of the plumage. It was particularly obvious when the bird turned to face me. The crown was a bit browner than the rest of the head, but the blending was subtle, and there was no other pattern on the face. The tertials were slightly margined with white. The bill was rather small and appeared entirely black. Otherwise there isn't much I could say about the plumage. Because of its isolation from the other ducks, it was hard to judge size, but I thought it appeared to be a bit bigger than the Green-winged Teal, which were present, and smaller than the Shovelers or Mallards.
After I had l looked at it for a while, it flew from the north pond to the south pond. I did not get a real good look at the wing pattern, but it did not have a green speculum as the Green-winged Teal, and appeared to have more pattern in the wing. I was unable to relocate it in the second pond.
Perhaps it was some kind of teal, but the lack of head pattern was not consistent with any of them, and I was left to wonder what kind of duck it was. If anyone else looks for it, the most outstanding plumage feature, which would help locate it, would be the pale chest.


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