Many neighborhoods have small retention ponds, golf course ponds, or recreational lakes. These waters can be magnets for ducks, grebes, and coots no matter how small the body of water. Often, the birds will just drop in for a few days of feeding then move on, but some will choose to spend longer periods.
Lesser scaup is one species that might drop down in a local pond. They are not gaudy ducks but are usually easy to identify as scaup. Problem is, there is also a greater scaup that is much less common but does occur here in small numbers most years. The two species are virtually identical in plumage, making identification challenging even for seasoned birders. Even widely acknowledged experts may not be able to positively determine what scaup they are looking at.
The greater scaup photo was taken last week on a small retention pond in Quail Hollow. The lesser scaup photo was taken at Concord Mills.
If you find some wintering ducks on some ponds you frequent, try to get a photo and send it along. I am always interested in what is being seen in the area.