On our way from Monterey to San Francisco, we stopped at Shoreline Park in Mountain View, hoping to find Burrowing Owls. We dipped on the owls, but found quite a few new species and lots of waterfowl on the bay and the lakes there. The park used to be a garbage dump for San Francisco, but has been beautifully restored for wildlife and recreation.
These photos are back lit, but show a beautiful male American Wigeon resting on the water, then rousing and flapping his wings. Wigeons rise straight up out of the water when taking off, but this male was just stretching his wings. This duck was formerly called “Baldpate” for obvious reasons! In my research, I found that it eats mainly vegetation, will graze in the grass like the geese, and will wait for coots and diving ducks to bring up aquatic plants in order to aggressively steal them away.