Date: 1/10/21 6:35 am
From: Joseph Neal <joeneal...>
Subject: Our celebrity duck continues
The Surf Scoter first observed at Lake Sequoyah in Fayetteville on December 4, 2020, by Todd Ballinger, continues. Vivek Govind Kumar and I saw it yesterday. It is still in same area, in broad expanse of the lake’s south end, visible by looking SE from the old White River bridge.
Birders visiting Lake Sequoyah often also drive to the bait shop and scan the area of the lake south of the current 1-lane bridge. While there yesterday, we encountered Dr David Krementz, retired from US Fish and Wildlife Service and Arkansas Coop Unit, UA-Fayetteville. He is the American Woodcock expert who has generously led many past Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society field trips to see woodcocks. He knows waterfowl.
Concerning the Surf Scoter, he said the fact that it had remained on Lake Sequoyah could be explained by relatively mild weather causing waterfowl to linger over a huge area in the eastern US. Or, maybe, has lead shot impacting its health.
I am old enough to remember when seeing a Surf Scoter was a very big deal in Arkansas. I think I may have seen the state’s second record as “recently” as the early 1980s. We have collected numerous records since, from all over the state. But with all that said, and questions about this bird, I still take great joy in seeing “our celebrity duck” (Vivek gets credit the phrase).


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