Cheryl Harner's Flora and Butterfly Blog
Weedpicker's Journal: Discover the native plants of Ohio and the butterflies that utilize them.
Ruddy Duck! November 20, 2008

Yesterday must have been the day for lakefront birding, as November is prime migration time for waterfowl.

The wind was howling off of Lake Erie, but the bay was a tad bit calmer, allowing us good looks at the ducks scattered between Sandusky and the Marblehead peninsula. Mallards and Black Ducks were present in high numbers on the marsh, with a sprinkling of Tundra Swans. Well within view of an enormous nest, a Bald Eagle did a fly-by. Nearby on the bay, a distant Common Goldeneye napped with its head tucked in, just enough to prevent us from telling if it was the Barrow's we have been hoping for. Double-crested Cormorants and Ring-billed Gulls held forth on the sandbar that runs along the Route 2 bridge and Ruddy Ducks dominated in the Sandusky Bay.

One of the most winsome of the ducks, the little Ruddys cocked their stiff-tails and bobbed about in the bay as if it were Paul Bunyan's bathtub. White check-patches and a rounded physique betray these guys from a great distance, even when their tail isn't giving the "high-five". In the springtime, the males are even more stunning in their breeding plumage of a ruddy-chestnut hue and a bright blue bill, just for good measure. Winter, spring or summer, the Ruddy Duck is always one of my favorite finds.

2008-11-21 04:33:27 GMT
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