|Velvet Scoter, ©Jimfbleak, via Wikimedia Commons.|
|Velvet Scoters, ©ajmatthehiddenhouse, via Flickr Creative Commons.|
|Velvet Scoter sketches.|
In flight the obvious white wing panel is the best way to tell Velvet apart from Common Scoter, this is often visible on swimming birds too. At a distance the white mark under the male's eye is hard to see, but the pale marks on the females' faces are much more obvious, as in the second photo. These patterns can however vary, but are always less obvious than the female Common Scoter's pale cheeks and contrasting dark cap.