Surf Scoter near Big Pine

Observers: Tom Heindel
Email: tjheindelataoldotcom
Verification: MONO
Remote Name:
Date: 04/20/2007
Time: 06:29 PM -0400


On 20 April Tom found 17 Surf Scoters (14 males & 3 females) at Klondike Lake and 5 (3 males & 2 females). at Tinemaha Reservoir There are only two previous spring records for Inyo County and both involved single birds. Many species come north out of the Gulf of California and turn west towards the ocean before continuing north in spring. A few birds, for some reason, fail to make the westward turn and end up using the eastern Sierra as a highway to the north. Brant is an example of a species that oft times travels north in spring through the Owens Valley. It is possible that the weather system on the coast prevented these scoters from turning west and they took the path less traveled. Tom and Jo returned to Klondike Lake at noon and the flock was still there where distant photographs were taken.