Saturday, February 2, 2008

More Ducks

Today (Saturday) I headed out to the St. Clair River first thing hoping to see thousands of ducks. To my dismay, the ice had moved in overnight creating little open water! There were lots of ducks all week and even before dark yesterday, but I was not able to spend time out there since I had to go to work.
Good thing I took a quick look after work Friday, because there were thousands of ducks up to Sombra (as far as I ventured). I saw the White-winged Scoter again, and noted a large number of scaup. The scaup were not too plentiful last week. Visions of finding a Tufted Duck were dashed when I saw all the ice this morning. The last Tufted Duck on the river spent the winter of 1994 at Sombra.
The biggest concentration of ducks was at the Sombra ferry dock. Most were Canvasback and Redhead, but they were packed like sardines in some spots.

At Lambton Generating Station, I noted a male Northern Pintail. First time I had seen that one this winter. Like the wigeon, there is always one or two during winter on the big river.

By that time it was only 09:30, so I headed south and then drove along the Snye. I encountered one small raft of Canvasback (see photo above and below) just south of the Walpole bridge.

Passing through Chatham, I stopped to look for the Trumpeter Swans. No luck! Earlier in the week a casual photo was in the Chatham Daily News showing two of three swans. They noted wing tags, and I immediately recognized them as Trumpeters. I notified a couple of people and they did see one swan (#872). Allen Woodliffe was kind enough to send me a photo he took of Trunpeter Swan #872. This swan was released at Millgrove (near Waterdown) in June 2004, and is apparently the first they have heard of its whereabouts.

I then headed south to look for the Harris's Sparrow. I only got a brief glimpse of it with many White-crowned Sparrows, before they vanished.

At Erieau there were quite a few ducks, including a female Harlequin. Also of note were two male American Wigeon and an American Coot.

Lots of Snow Buntings were close to Lake Erie today along with longspurs and Horned Larks. Harriers seemed abundant today. I had four in the first ten minutes that I was out this morning.

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