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An Early Common Scoter in Northern Florida

Publication Information
Journal: 
Florida Field Naturalist
Volume: 
1
Issue: 
1
Year: 
1973
Pages: 
14-15
AttachmentSize
PDF icon FFN_01-1-p14-15_Weiser.pdf128.98 KB

An Early Common Scoter in Northern Florida

On the morning of October 22, 1972, I observed a Common Scoter (Oidemia nigra) swimming in the salt-marsh area of the Fenholloway River, Taylor County, Florida. I watched it from my canoe at a distance of about 40 feet through 7x50 binoculars in good light (clear sky, about 90 degrees from the sun). The heavy-set body and the outline of the head and bill indicated that it was a scoter, and the presence of a large, off-white cheek-and-gular patch on the otherwise uniformly dark-brown plumage indicated a female or immature male Common Scoter. When it flew I noticed an absence of wing patches, lending further support to my identification.

Although there are records of summering scoters in Florida, there seems to be no earlier fall arrival date for the Common Scoter.

Conrad E. Weiser

314 Lorene St., Tallahassee, Florida 32304.

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