This morning there were 3 Surf Scoters resting on Crane Lake.
They had their heads tucked under their wings. I guess I’d be tired too if I had just migrated from the arctic tundra!
I was able to get quite close, you can tell they are not used to people or the modern mechanisms that we use to get around (like a boat). At this time of the year they are in their winter plumage and present a bit of a challenge to identify. When I got to work, I quickly googled them on my computer, here is an excellent photo of a Surf Scoter in non-breeding or winter plumage.
This is the photo that I took.
Check out this link for a photo of a beautiful male in breeding plumage and the range where the bird occurs. http://www.virtualbirder.com/vbirder/ibis/SUSC/SUSC401.html They left out the great lakes on the range map, but they do swing through Minnesota sometimes on their way to their wintering grounds. Every fall they can be pretty reliable on Lake Superior. Interior lake stops are more rare.