Saturday, January 17, 2015

St. Clair River Duck Detail

Ice at Stoke's Point

It was time to check out the St. Clair River today.  The ice has piled up even more and continues to do so.  There were not a lot of open spots even to north of Corunna.
Some open water is along the shore from the OC outfall near Stanley Line down to Cundick Park.  One small open area is just out from the Sombra ferry dock.  The largest open area is off Courtright where there were 5000+ duck.  Most of those were Redhead and Canvasback.

Very few scaup are on the river this winter for whatever reason, and the odd Ring-necked Duck is seen (one off OC outfall this morning).

Goldeneye seems to be in larger than normal numbers though, and of course we have the Barrow's Goldeneye.
The usual area where the Barrow's had been hanging out was all packed with ice today and it took a while to find it in the river.  Around noon, Mike Bouman and I decided to check the concentration of ducks near the ferry dock at Sombra.  As soon as we set up scopes, Mike found the Barrow's!  It was good viewing with a scope, but too far for a photo.  Since it was the weekend, the skies were rather gloomy, so that did not help either. It was supposed to be mostly sunny today, but as usual the week-long forecast was wrong.

Barrow's Goldeneye in centre of photo

We watched the Barrow's for some time, and just after we found it, Mike and Claire Nelson came along to see the duck.

Earlier in the morning, I stopped at Cathcart Park to view the waterfowl in the stretch of open water along the shore.  The wintering Tundra Swans were there among other things.

Upriver, I scoped the mass of ducks off Courtright but did not find anything of note.  Scoters are not around this winter either and this is usually a good spot.

Off Guthrie Park at Corunna a few things were there to look at including a male Gadwall.

I took note of a frigid Great Blue Heron in Talfourd Creek as well.  I could not get close to it though.

Conditions are always changing out there with the ice.  It is unusual to have this much ice, but it does concentrate birds!
I did not find much inland today.
Brown Creeper at Barrow's Point

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