Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ducks 'n Things

I took another look at the St. Clair River today.  What else to do this time of year?
With the unusually mild weather (I was not surprised....I had a feeling we would get a thaw right at the end of December), ice has cleared out of the big river.  So have the gulls.  As I always say, gulls like ice, so they have gone elsewhere.  Maybe to Lake Erie!?
With the ice gone, ducks are spread out all along the river.  During the now-extended duck hunting season one has to work around hunters! Sifting through the rafts of Canvasback and Redhead to find different species is fun.
I noticed there was finally a good number of Ring-necked especially at Cathcart Park.  I had not seen many until now.
Scaup have not been too plentiful yet. Most are Greater.

Lots of Canada Geese are on the river this year--a sign of the increase in population.  They are just regular types--no Cackling!  I did see a couple that were a bit smaller, but they certainly were not Cacklers.

An interesting find was a male American Wigeon, something new as of late.  Usually one or two winter on the river each year.
I saw no sign of the 5 Pintails from Friday.  I suspect their appearanace was due to the thaw.  Pintails seem to be a significant part of these early spring migrant events.

At Sarnia there was no sign of the Black-legged Kittiwake, but it could still be around.  It was last reported on the 31st.  That was certainly a nice one to get as I did not find one this fall, nor the previous year for that matter. 
There was a Double-crested Cormorant in the harbour, and perhaps there were two.  I saw one fly out, and ten minutes late there was one sitting on a post in the far NE corner.

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