Image 45 of 1482
Velvet Scoter Melanitta fusca L 51-58cm. Bulky diving duck. Larger than Common Scoter with which it associates. All birds have white inner flight feathers, most obvious in flight. Head markings are useful in identification. Sexes are dissimilar. Adult male has mainly black plumage, with striking white patch below pale eye; white on closed wings sometimes visible when swimming. Bill is two-toned: yellow and blackish. 1st winter male lacks white under eye. Adult female is mainly dark sooty brown, with pale cheek patch and pale patch at base of bill; bill is dark. Voice Mostly silent. Status Scarce non-breeding visitor from Scandinavia, present mainly Oct- Mar. Favours coasts with sandy seabeds. Commonest in N.
- © PAUL STERRY/Nature Photographers
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