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.