Sunday, 14 December 2014

Black Scoter (Melanitta americana)

Thee adult male Black Scoter (Melanitta americanaat Shiranuka Harbour, Hokkaido, Japan - December 2014

Local Name (Japan): Kuro-gamo (クロガモ) - "Black Wildduck"
OTHER NAMES: American Scoter
Weight: 980-1100g
Length: 49cm
Wingspan: 71cm
NO UK STATUS / IUCN Red List: Near Threatened

The Black Scoter was until recently considered as part of the Common Scoter, but has subsequently been split off into a full species.  The Black and Common are apparently differentiated primarily by their distinct vocalisations.  I first got brief views of this species from the train between Kushiro and Akkeshi but was unable to photograph it due to the movement of the train, but later found a small flock at the mouth of Shiranuka harbour.

Related Species:
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Melanitta
Subspecies: None - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
JAPAN - Locally common Winter migrant in harbours on Hokkaido
 - TOKYO/HOKKAIDO 2014 TRIP: One seen on the sea at Akkeshi, a small flock in the harbour at Shiranuka

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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