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….!
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!