Scaups and Mergansers (I think)

I mentioned last post that I’ve been seeing lots of white-winged scoters and long-tailed ducks down at the mouth of the Oswego River, of late.  Well, today I think I identified two more birds currently hanging out there:

  • Greater Scaups
    I’m not 100% sure of these; they might be Lesser Scaups.  But I lean toward Greater because their heads aren’t a funny shape, as far as I can tell.
    Two birds that are probably scaups, in the water.
    It’s *so* easy to tell from the photo, isn’t it?  Whatever kind of scaups these are, they’re shy.  They start paddling away from the edge of the river while I’m still at least 20 feet from the bank (and it’s not like they were right on the bank to begin with).  I’m going to have to dig out my binoculars, probably, if I want to get a better look.  Sigh.
  • Common Merganser
    I’m increasingly less certain of this identification. It might have been a Red-breasted Merganser; I think I’ve seen those before, right?  It’s definitely something with those awesome head feathers though, and those seem to be a merganser thing.  So at least I’m reasonably sure that I’m seeing some kind of merganser.

    Do I have a picture of these mergansers?  Well… no.  For some reason the mergansers won’t pose for me.  Very inconsiderate of them, in my opinion.

Reading: Keywords in Sound

I was doing collection development at work the other day, and because I’ve gotten all new areas, I was rummaging around an assortment of other libraries’ websites, Amazon, Gobi, etc., trying to get a feel for what’s out there.  Music and Math in particular seem bound to lead to things I want to read; I’m already finding titles that call out to me.

Keywords in Sound was one of those titles.  I mean, read the description:

In twenty essays on subjects such as noise, acoustics, music, and silence, Keywords in Sound presents a definitive resource for sound studies, and a compelling argument for why studying sound matters. Each contributor details their keyword’s intellectual history, outlines its role in cultural, social and political discourses, and suggests possibilities for further research. Keywords in Sound charts the philosophical debates and core problems in defining, classifying and conceptualizing sound, and sets new challenges for the development of sound studies.

How do you *not* want to read that?  I was really excited when the book came in through interlibrary loan.  (I couldn’t actually justify buying it for Music, so it had to be ILL.)

So I got it home and started reading–

–yeah, either sound studies are not for me, or this wasn’t a good choice.  I’m three or four keywords in now, and it’s just not cutting it.  The keywords I’ve read have been… ummm… acoustemology… and… errrrrrrrr…. body, I think?

I’m not retaining much, apparently.  And I’m not even enjoying not retaining it.

Fortunately, my next ILL request has come in: Arithmetic.  Cross your fingers for me; I could really do with some bedtime reading that I actually like.


In other news, there have been white-winged scoters and long-tailed ducks down at the mouth of the river for a few weeks now, and I kind of love them.

Three white-winged scoters and a long-tailed duck