Waterfowl often winter on the Great Lakes, but when the bays and lakes freeze over, they are forced to find open waters in area rivers. As I traveled along Eight Street on Saturday, I noticed that hundreds of ducks were on the Boardman River.
I pulled into the parking spot overlooking the river and was shocked at the numbers I was seeing. I hardly knew where to aim my camera. Later that day I learned I wasn’t the only person duck watching. One seasoned birding observer counted over 800 ducks in a 16 minute segment.
The Redheads clearly had the greatest numbers on the river. The pair on the right are incredibly beautiful; the male’s in the foreground and the female’s just behind him. I was most taken, however, with the duck on the left, a Common Goldeneye.
Not only was its black and white coloring striking, but I found even more interesting the white, circular patch near the duck’s beak. It was so fluffy!
As the Goldeneye turned and swam away from me I noticed the markings on its back. I also saw how powerfully it was paddling.
Another black and white duck had begun propelling itself in my direction. It was one of the Scaups. I chuckled at how the angle of the image gave the duck an intense expression.
I quickly saw, however, that the Scaup’s intensity wasn’t meant for me. It must’ve spotted some prey deep in the water and immediately went into a dive.
Only the wake bubbles were left behind.