Surf Scoters at Shoreline Park

Thursday afternoon I decided to make one last trip to Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View to look for the Burrowing Owls. I didn’t find any, but I did find a Jackrabbit, numerous American Coots, and 14 Surf Scoters:

2 Surf Scoters

The sailboat lake in Shoreline Park is the most reliable place I know to find Surf Scoters, and about the only place I’ve ever been able to get really good close looks. Apparently they eat clams or mussels, whole. They swallow the entire shell, which I now know because I’ve seen them do this. Shoreline Park must have a particularly large, tasty crop of clams to pull them in, since you normally only see these birds at the coast and then quite far out for shore though not quite at pelagic distances).

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