Black Scoter female in the lead

[All photographs copyright, Gary Nunn 2013] – I have been out testing my new Canon 500 mm f4 lens and it can really pull in excellent quality images from great distances. With the addition of the 1.4X teleconverter attached it comes out with an 1120 mm effective focal length on the 7D body “cropped” APS-C sensor size. Add to that the Image Stabilization (IS) and I think I will be documenting a few more good birds seawatching out there soon! I found this adult female Black Scoter Melanitta americana cruising at the front of a small flock of Surf Scoter heading south. As I have mentioned in previous posts on this species, it often seems to head up the front of the flock when among Surf Scoters. Perhaps the slightly smaller size allows it to travel faster than its congeners? I photographed this flock from quite an extreme distance – these ducks were just beyond the Pt. La Jolla kelp bed and can still be easily identified from the image crops.

Black Scoter adult female – Pt. La Jolla, La Jolla, San Diego County 20 Nov 2013

Black Scoter adult female – Pt. La Jolla, La Jolla, San Diego County 20 Nov 2013

Black Scoter adult female – Pt. La Jolla, La Jolla, San Diego County 20 Nov 2013

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