My recent close encounters with winter ducks have brought back fond memories of time well spent a year ago along the Toronto lakeshore with a cooperative male Ring-necked Duck.
He was easily recognized by the white ring around his bill rather than the cinnamon ring around his neck that is difficult to see:
I was shocked to see him parading around on the ice during my first visit!
Not overly graceful, he made his way back into the water:
Needless to say, I returned a couple of weeks later and this time he came right up to me:
His cinnamon ring around the neck can be easily seen now:
A very brief preening session ended almost as soon as it began:
Again, his cinnamon collar is visible but from a distance it's almost always a challenge to see:
His yellow-orange eye reflected nicely in the water:
Taking a sip of Lake Ontario water, eeek!
The white shoulder spurs in front of his wings are another distinguishing field mark:
Another sip of water:
Water droplets fall from his bill:
But it wasn't only about this handsome boy ACTUALLY, IT WAS
, WHO ARE YOU KIDDING , there were other back-up birds for the day, including a pretty Mallard:
A dripping Mute Swan:
My only flight shot, to date, of an American Wigeon:
The Red-winged Blackbirds were back in full force (remember that this was a year ago):
The Toronto skyline, which no doubt has changed over the past year:
A bouncy Bufflehead:
A Gadwall on land:
But for sure the star of the day, and perhaps even for all of last winter was this Ring-
billed necked Duck, I've missed him this year!