My time with the Long-tailed Ducks earlier last week was so much fun that it was impossible for me to stay away, so a few days later I returned to the harbour at sunrise. This time it was much colder, resulting in less open water which worked to my advantage as the male and female Long-tailed Ducks were now even closer to me. I crawled across the boulders and wedged myself in place to spend an hour with them:
The water on the back of the male at times sparkled like beautiful diamonds in the early light:
Considering a dive:
The female always dove first, followed by the male:
Yet the male always swam in closer to me after re-surfacing:
...and he'd be gone:
My patience paid off as the male began a spectacular preening session, just look at that tail!
Hard work, this is serious stuff!
Taking the plunge:
The fine couple are together for a change...
...but not for long, the ripples from the female's dive can be seen on the right:
...and the male follows her:
A few minutes later, their diving routine continues:
The male moves in closer to me yet again:
Suddenly another male swims into the area from under the pier:
The first one isn't impressed...
...and he makes his way closer to the female:
A scuffle breaks out between the three of them:
...and the intruding male is banished.
Until a third male appears from under the pier!
Notice the plumage difference between the two males:
The new male was also interested in the clicks of my camera but eventually moved on:
My last looks at the diving male, as it was time for me to crawl out from between the boulders:
I continued on my way and was successful in finding a sunbathing Eastern Screech-Owl for my Year List:
Interesting reflections in the canal reminded me of autumn golds and bronzes in Algonquin six months earlier:
Even though I was further away from the Long-tails at my next stop, I was very pleased with the images I captured:
A preening male:
Calm waters with reflections:
Black and white beauty:
A sip of water:
Yes, there's a Long-tail in them thar waters!
And it wasn't all about Long-tailed Ducks NO,
REALLY??!!, as a few White-winged Scoters were close to the pier as well:
So ended another memorable trip to Lake Ontario for Long-tailed Ducks, I just couldn't help myself!
Speaking of which, perhaps the Snowy Owls I encountered today will be my last good views for the season?
This is one wretched flight shot of the first one I saw this morning. I have to say, without a doubt, that she is the most massive female I've seen all winter. She was huge, as in don't-mess-with-me huge. I pity her prey, if they were to see her coming at them:
The next female was tiny by comparison, and therefore a lot less frightening:
And just when you thought there'd be no more Snowy Owl pics, heheheeee. I can't help myself.
Bring on migration.