After a week of sub-zero wind chills today's 32F felt like sweater weather. But the cold weather did not stop me (or others) from getting down to the Detroit River to enjoy the influx of Bald Eagles and ducks that were enjoying what little open water was available. This female Northern Harrier also took advantage of the open water to look for a possible meal. I was stunned to see her float by the car as I sat at the Wyandotte Municipal Boat Launch at the foot of St. John's St.
This lovely lady was resting on the edge of the ice while numerous drake Canvasbacks and Redheads were squabbling over cabbage grass below the water's surface. A female Common Goldeneye and a couple of female Redhead ducks were also in the area, but tended to stay apart from the more aggressive males.
Farther out in open water a pair of Greater Scaup females were floating and diving, but hesitant to come closer. The females of Greater and Lesser Scaup are difficult to ID as they look very similar. But the head is rounded on these two, the white patch is large and rounded, and the black nail at the end of the bill appears larger than on a Lesser Scaup.
A run down to John Dingell Park at the foot of Southfield Rd. and West Jefferson yielded several Hooded Merganser females. This little lady remained momentarily after her mate ran off at my approach.
Bald Eagles continue to roost in good numbers along the north side of Mud Island. The gusting, bitter winds from earlier in the week were coming from the southwest so I'm guessing they were taking advantage of the wind breaking side of the island. I ran into Charles Owens and Pete Kryluk and enjoyed nice looks at 35 birds rooting in the trees. Word is getting out, as more and more people are showing up to enjoy the sight!
Not to leave the boys out, so here are a few highlight pics from this week.