Monday, March 8, 2010

A Different Duck

For the last 10 days or so there has been nothing but rain, wind, snow, sleet and did I mention rain? It hasn't been fit to go out, let alone take pictures. At the peril of my camera I did venture out on Saturday to have a good look at the flooding at Quidi Vidi Lake. Considering that this is one of the prime birdwatching areas in the city, I just had to make sure that everything was OK there. It was a dark and dreary afternoon but quite a sight to see a good foot of water covering the roadway near the boathouse. The road was blocked to all traffic. As I scanned around the lake to see benches, the viewing stand and walkways under water, I spied "The Rower." The bronze sculpture that is usually 20 feet from the shore looked like it was sitting atop the water. That was it, the shot of the day. I put my hood up, dawned my gloves and waded through water just to the tops of the soles of my shoes. I quickly uncovered my camera and shot blindly as the rain was pouring on me and the camera. Once I had two clicks, I ran through the driving rain back to my car. The above image is the result.

Quidi Vidi is a great spot for viewing sea birds, ducks, rock doves and the unexpected like a Hudsonian Godwit, the American Coot and this odd little fellow below. It was speculated that this is a domestic duck. It just showed up at QV, pecked the shins of walkers and drew plenty of onlookers. Then within a week, it just vanished again. I have looked up domestic ducks but haven't found anything like this one. He is an odd duck!

I have ducks on the mind this evening. Today, I saw and photographed a Bufflehead duck. It was too far away for me to get a good picture, but I did capture several shots clear enough for record shots. That was my first Bufflehead, bringing my total species sighting up to 53 for 2010. Not bad for a beginner!

I am working on a group of pictures of diving ducks for my next entry. The Bufflehead is a diving duck so I thought it would be a good time to showcase my pictures of Greater and Lesser Scaups and Tufted Ducks, all are diving ducks. There are about 40 Scaups that wintered in the ponds in St. John's this year. They can still be seen at Burton's Pond, QV and Long Pond. They move about quite a bit but you are guaranteed to see them at any one of these places.

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