Totally captivated in 2007 by the live camera feed of the Hornby Island nesting Bald Eagles in B.C., I was drawn into birding and have never looked back. Thus begins my account of what I'm fortunate enough to discover each day and perhaps capture with my camera.

Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by and are the property of Janice Melendez

Species Counts:

2014 Final Year List: 255; 2015 Year List a/o June 5, 2015: 235; Life List: 327

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Duck Soup

Another tough winter on the Great Lakes has meant limited open water to see those precious winter ducks that I adore, but with last week's teaser thaw I was able to spend some time with quite a few species, starting with a Lesser Scaup at Whitby harbour:

A female Long-tailed Duck dabbled before diving:

And as always, the effervescent Mallard made me smile:

The next day I traveled to Presqu'ile Provincial Park for more waterfowl but first saw great views of the usual feeder birds, including this perky White-breasted Nuthatch:

After seeing Redheads and Canvasbacks in the same field of view through my scope, I lusted for closer looks so I left Presqu'ile and soon found a spot along the lake where I hunkered down for quite a while on the ice with hundreds of waterfowl and ridiculous amounts of waterfowl poop, you have no idea....

Duck Soup.
not one of my better segues, going from poop to soup, ewwww 

Ingredients as follows:

Common Goldeneye


Mute Swan okfine, so it's not a duck

Greater Scaup, male...

...with a few females for good measure:

...and a smidge of feather fluff for that extra je ne sais quoi:

A year ago along the lake I had special views of Redheads right out of the water, both a female...

...and a male:

I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Until last week when I had my closest views ever of these strikingly beautiful Redheads:

Hard to beat this for a handsome duck (unless you're a Long-tail!):

The pale female Redhead isn't nearly as striking as the male but is still delightful:

The male Redhead was on the move:

A charmer:

A beauty:

A twosome:

A preener:

A pretty lady:

It was at this point that the large poop-covered shelf of ice at my feet abruptly broke off into the lake, scattering the ducks and the swans and the geese and of course me. NO SOAKERS FOR ME, PHEW. AND  NO DOUBT IT WAS THE WEIGHT OF THE POOP THAT WAS THE LAST STRAW.

My time there was done but what a phenomenal close encounter, after weeks of limited waterfowl viewing opportunities.

Duck Soup indeed.

And yes, it's a Swan, not a duck, heeeheeee.

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