Many birders have seen Surf Scoters on the Massachusetts coast, but I never got a decent look at them until we stayed in Marina, California. As you can see, they were well worth the wait! The male (in front) would blow you away!
Check out that colorful and outrageous face! It is far too exotic to be just another run-of-the-mill sea duck.
The beach by our hotel was teeming with Surf Scoters every day. Here is an juvenile or first year scoter in the surf.
Her is the same scoter about to dive under a massive wave.
It was the adult males with the brilliant coloring that thrilled me most of all.
Do you see the little Surf Scoter in the lower right corner calmly swimming in the massive surf of the Pacific Ocean? I liked this photo so much I use it as my Facebook cover page! They always dived under before the waves could take them and toss them about like so much flotsam, though. I know I wouldn't have lasted a minute in that violent surf!
Remember, Bird-a-thon 2012 is fast approaching! If you haven't made a donation yet, please try to scrape up a few dollars for Massachusett's Audubon. Mass Audubon is saving the nature of Massachusetts, and I know you all care about such a worthy cause!