Photo: Small duck at Echo Park Lake, November 9, 2008; by Martin Cox (c)
A new odd duck water-landed at Echo Park Lake last week, and it could be a Bufflehead.
According to Martin Cox, Chicken Corner's famous waterfowl correspondent, our new oddball has been at the lake since Monday, November 3. (He heard this from Judy Raskin, who saw the bird first.)
Jenny - you know what a bird man I am and I never even HEARD of a Bufflehead so yes it's news!
He's definitely a male and on his own. He seems chummy with the Ruddy Ducks
It was my husband, Thomas, who first saw him, he knew this was something we had not seen before and phoned me. I abandoned lunch to zip down to the lake with camera to get a photo of this interesting visitor. I don't think it's a rare bird, but I have never seen it at the Echo Park lake in all my years of observing. He would spend only about 10 seconds on the surface, then dive for 30 seconds, popping up somewhere new.
According to Cornell U's bird site, the Bufflehead is the smallest duck in North America. But he's a big deal around here.