When to see
Common and Velvet Scoters are both migratory and are predominantly seen offshore from late summer through to spring. Although they do not breed locally regular sightings of Common Scoters do occur during the summer breeding season.
Where to see
Both species are sea duck and are seen almost exclusively in Burghead Bay off Findhorn beach, frequently forming large flocks. In winter Slavonian Grebe can also sometimes be sighted with the Scoters. Very occasionally a Common or Velvet Scoter comes into Findhorn Bay but these occurrences are rare as they prefer to stay out at sea.
On the water the 2 species can be difficult to tell apart, particularly at range. The male Velvet Scoters though have much more pale orange on their bills and a small white patch under the eye. In flight the Velvet Scoter is distinctive for the white secondaries on the wing.
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