Ducks in Dire Straits

Every once and a while I get lucky and capture a beautiful image of some form of wildlife.  Today, I had the fortune of taking the attached photo. It is a male red-breasted merganser, one of my favourite diving ducks. Note the “punk rocker” hairdo….!
Male Red-Breasted Merganser

Male Red-Breasted Merganser

I went back to Bond Head today, drawn by my curiosity about the many ducks that are facing hardship and dying due to the cold. All around the Great Lakes, even down in the U.S., many water birds are unable to survive this bitterly cold winter. Over the last few years, our mild winters have encouraged the ducks to stay here in the north rather than migrating south.  This year has been a disaster for a lot of them.
The channel at the Newcastle Marina keeps freezing over and with the ice, the source of food for both the dabbling ducks and the diving ducks, is inaccessible a lot of the time.  There are some aerators near the few boats that people live in year round so some little areas of open water about the size of large puddles provide a haven for some of the ducks. This channel and docking area also has a large population of zebra mussels which, although undesirable, are providing a source of food for the diving ducks. I am unsure of what the dabbling ducks like the mallards are eating unless it is some of the corn brought by concerned residents to feed the swans and geese.  I counted 11 swans there on Sunday.
Somehow this post was published before I completed it. Not sure if this newer version, with photos attached, will reach my readers.  So sorry for this technical glitch!
More photos below….I hope!
Bufflehead Landing

Bufflehead Landing

White-Winged Scoter Swallowing a Large Zebra Mussel

White-Winged Scoter Swallowing a Large Zebra Mussel

White -Winged Scoter \

White -Winged Scoter
\

Scaups having a discussion

Scaups having a discussion

IMG_6944

Scaup with Zebra Mussel

Scaup with Zebra Mussel

Female Greater Scaup

Female Greater Scaup

Female Goldeneye and Male Greater Scaup

Female Goldeneye and Male Greater Scaup

Channel Entrance to Newcastle Marina

Channel Entrance to Newcastle Marina

Male Greater Scaup

Male Greater Scaup

Female Scaup

Female Scaup

Golden Eye and Scaups

Golden Eye and Scaups

IMG_6742 IMG_6738

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About janewalkerscards

Jane Walker is a Newcastle photographer who creates framed photographs, photo trays and matted greeting cards reflecting the beauty of nature and gardens. Her recent interest in birds, owls and other wildlife is now being reflected in her posts. As a member of the Oshawa Camera Club, Jane has started to enter some of her photos for judging and appreciates the critiques by the judges. You'll be surprised at what shows up under the guise of "janewalkerscards".
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10 Responses to Ducks in Dire Straits

  1. Wayne Young says:

    Hi Jane– I didn’t get the duck pics ! Probably I screwed up somehow ! Wayne

    • You didn’t… I did! For some reason I published this post before it was finished. I followed a bit different format…obviously it didn’t work. I hope the update will reach people. Sorry!

  2. Loreen says:

    That is a sad situation for the ducks, although your pictures are great! They did not show up on my gmail, but I clicked on the link to your website, and then to the most recent blog to find them.

    • Yes, I did manage to find some lovely ducks still surviving. I made an error when I published this post. I was still working on it and hadn’t added the photos and meant to “save it” but somehow I published it. Then I “updated” it but unless people went back and reopened it, they never got the photos!

  3. Jocelyne says:

    Jane, your photo of the swan in flight is a real gem, it’s such a superb photo. Beautiful, beautiful photos of these ducks, I was also very impressed by the first photo. I have seen a lot of ducks in the past when I was living in Saguenay but I’m not sure if they are the same I see here in this post. I don’t know the names in English 🙂 I’m pretty sure I have seen the Merganser, and the common goldeneye. It’s so sad to hear about their struggles to survive. It has been a really harsh winter and I hope some of them will make it through.
    I am so late in your posts. I will look at them, I just have so many things in my head these days and I have to take really important and difficult decisions.
    A really great post Jane 🙂
    Have a great weekend !

    • Jocelyne says:

      I forgot to say If it happens you would like to write to me I have a new address. I have problems sometimes with the Globetrotter.net one. You can find my new address on my Contact page on my blog 🙂

    • I can’t believe that you are able to follow and encourage so many people with their photographs. I can’t tell you how much your positive comments mean to me. You are so talented and such a kind person. Glad you liked the ducks. I hope you are able to make the decisions that will make you most happy. Take care.

  4. You are welcome, Jocelyn.

  5. Lovely pictures. I am impressed!

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