The Lesser Scaup, while very similar to the Greater Scaup, has a more pointed head with black feathers that sometimes look purple. The Greater Scaup is relatively common to Newfoundland but the Lesser Scaup is not.
Despite this, they do show up in St. John's in good numbers and may stay through the winter.
The pointed head is very distinct on this Lesser Scaup as is the black head. These shots were taken on a typical gray day in St. John's but even that doesn't detract from this perfect little duck.
Shortly after taking the picture above, this Lesser Scaup decided to go for a dive. They rear up and lunge into the water in front of them, leaving no splash. The propulsion comes from the push-off from the legs. It all happens very quickly, like a shot.
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