white merganser smew
pops called in sick today to drive out to twain harte and see a smew floating around on a farmer's pond with his lady friend. twain harte is right inbetween the cabin and yosemite.
mr. john james audubon says:
The Smew is a bird of extremely rare occurrence in the United States, insomuch that it must be considered merely as a transient or accidental visiter...The only specimen procured by me was shot by myself on Lake Barataria, not far from New Orleans, in the winter of 1819. It was an adult female in fine plumage. How it had wandered so far south is an enigma to me; but having found it, and made a drawing of it on the spot, I have taken the liberty to add one of the other sex from an equally fine specimen. After all, the Smew can scarcely be considered as belonging to the American Fauna, any more than our Fork-tailed Hawk can with propriety be called a denizen of England; and in this I am supported by all the great navigators of our Arctic Seas, such as ROSS, PARRY, and FRANKLIN, none of whom, nor any of their companions, ever met with a single individual of this beautiful bird.