Saturday, January 25, 2014

Cold Duck - 24 Jan 2014

The nation continues to freeze, and today it is -20F with gusting winds.  Still, I couldn't resist running down to the foot of St. John's Street here in Wyandotte after work to see if any ducks were hanging around in the open waters of the Detroit River.  A small raft of Canvasback and Redhead were on the north side of the dock (driver's side window of the Escape) as I approached and quickly started moving away as I pulled up.  Luckily, I killed the engine and sat quietly inside the car as they floated out in mid-stream, then slowly began to drift back toward the dock.

For the next 30 minutes or so I was able to stick the 300/2.8 VRII lens out of the window and photograph the ducks as the foraged and squabbled just feet away.  I was next to the fence so some of the Canvasback closeups were taken through the fence.  Winds whipped the water as the ducks swam, but they seemed unfazed by the cold.

An adult female Common Goldeneye was a nice addition to the mix of ducks.  Her presence coaxed a wary male Common Goldeneye to join the group diving just at the edge of an ice shelf.

A pretty male Bufflehead also came close enough to catch a hint of some of the iridescence in its head, even without sunlight!

The last to arrive were the Common Mergansers (females).  Males were nowhere to be found on the river today.

I've yet to see a Ring-necked Duck in this area this year. Perhaps its still a bit early.

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