Crescent City, CA
10 July 2004
A first California record of Common Eider was found by Chuck and Barbara Vaughn in Crescent City, California on July 5th, 2004. These files were shot on July 10th by Leslie Lieurance. The bird was very active on Saturday the 10th, feeding along the edges of the rocks, swimming and preening. On Sunday morning the bird was less active, roosting on the exposed flat rocks, a bit closer to shore. Fog prevented more picture taking. We were surprised to see how much dark mottling was visible on the bird's back and face on the second day. Could it have been molting that much over night, we wondered. Also, the possibility of the bird being oiled was discussed.
The bird was up to 1/2 mile away, so heat waves caused the focus to shift throughout shooting. The first scene in the file shows the Eider working along the edge of far distant rocks under overcast skies. This was shot using Cindy's 65mm Nikon ED scope. The next two scenes of swimming and preening were in full sun. An 80mm Swarovski telescope with lens adapter was used for these. This contraption was laid on a sleeping bag draped over a camera case. This made aiming difficult, but for steady pictures while shooting.
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