Prior to heading to California, my previous experience of Surf Scoter had been limited to a number of distant (to very distant!) blobs bobbing around off various parts of the British and Irish coastline. Not the case with these boys and girls at Moss Landing, which regularly showed to within 30 metres or so. Watching these birds courting, feeding and generally lazing around against the blue seas in warm sunshine was on of the highlights of the trip for me. Drakes are surely strong contenders for the best-looking of all ducks, aren't they?