[Mystery bird] White-winged Scoter, Melanitta deglandi, photographed at Bodega Bay, California. [I will identify this bird for you in 48 hours]
Image: Joseph Kennedy, 12 May 2010 [larger view].
Nikon D200, Kowa 883 telescope with TSN-PZ camera eyepiece 1/500s f/8.0 at 1000.0mm iso400.
Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.
The White-winged Scoter, Melanitta deglandi, a large black duck of coastal waters which is the largest of all the scoters. This species breeds farther inland than the other two scoter species and is the one most likely to appear inland on lakes and rivers during migration.
Female white-winged scoter?
Never seen one, although I'll be looking this fall/winter in Michigan
These pass through Lake Michigan every fall and spring, with a few apparently spending the winter. Until recently, they were considered the easiest scoter to find in Illinois, but not so much these days.