Sunday, April 6, 2014

San Diego Year Bird #188: Black Scoter

Black Scoter
Black Scoter. March 2, 2014. Greg Gillson.
Well, this is the last photo from birds seen on Marlene's and my March 2nd trip to the southern portion of San Diego Bay and the Tijuana River Valley.

This Black Scoter is one of a few seen at Grand Caribe Shoreline Park at Coronado for several weeks, that I finally got around to putting on my itinerary. Black Scoter used to be a subspecies of Common Scoter, but they were split into separate species several years ago. The Common Scoter is now the species found in the Palearctic and Black Scoter in the Nearctic.

Despite being called Common Scoter in the past, this sea duck is actually the least abundant scoter found on the West Coast. Surf Scoter and White-winged Scoter are usually found more frequently south of Alaska.

Actually, "common" today means something a bit different than it did in the past. Rather than meaning widespread, in the past "common" meant plain or ordinary.

This is my County Life Bird #229.