I gasped, seeing the Emerald on ASBJØRN's
Smew photo 28. Jan. 2010. Thought it was
a rare aberrant male!
After THOMAS' equally beautiful reprise,
I wondered if I - after >50 years' Smew
winter OBS - had ignored something?
Bauer & Glutz, 1969 (Vögel Mitteleuropas,
vol. III, 2, p413), simply establish
re male Zwergsäger Prachtkleid
(Smew breeding dress):
- 'cheek patch has a WEAK, neck band
- has a STRONG darkgreen gloss (Glanz)'.
B&G p424 may explain why some Jan-Feb
photos show troops of Males, only:
- It is exceptional that Smews form pairs
- in their winter residence [!]. By the
- end of March only 37% of Smews wintering
- in Bavaria were paired.
Combining this info from B&G, it is
tempting to ask if we find the Emerald
gloss rare in the winter months,
because it is not FULLY developed until
pairing/mating takes place in the spring -
Thanks to ASBJØRN and THOMAS
K.rgds .............. C.