27/01/2015
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Velvet, White-winged and Stejneger's Scoters ID photo guide

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Juvenile Velvet Scoter (Clitheroe, Lancashire, 26 December 2009). Photo by Steve Young (www.birdsonfilm.com).
Juvenile Velvet Scoter (Clitheroe, Lancashire, 26 December 2009). Photo by Steve Young (www.birdsonfilm.com).

There was a time when any scoter with a white wing-bar was simply a ‘Velvet’. Not any more, as what was once regarded as a single Holarctic species has been divided in two: North American birds have been split as White-winged Scoter, with an equally distinctive Asian subspecies, Stejneger’s Scoter, which itself may be separated at species level. Both White-winged and Stejneger’s Scoters have now been found among scoter flocks in British and Irish waters, highlighting the rewards for the vigilant observer.

Click on the image below for a downloadable PDF of this ID photo guide.

Velvet, White-winged and Stejneger's Scoters ID photo guide