Monday, March 8, 2010

Harlequin Ducks!

I started the morning out with hopes of seeing the Snowy Owl again but knowing that was unlikely as it probably continued to move North once the sun rose.  There also had been a report of 2 Harlequin Ducks right along the jetty and some Purple Sandpipers which I had only seen in Montauk.  After hopelessly searching the dunes and the beach for the Snowy Owl I arrived at the inlet hoping the Ducks wouldn't be all the way on the West side.  As I approached the rocks, I spotted a Harlequin right in front of me - I couldn't believe how close it was.  The challenge in the morning, however, was the light was in the West so I had to get the right angle on the birds to get good exposure and detail which proved quite difficult but I still got some good shots:

After running some errands and spending some time at home I was back out at the inlet hoping the Harlequins would be in the same place which would allow for the beautiful late afternoon light to really show the birds off well and as soon as I arrived the ducks were there putting on a great show.  It's my hypothesis that they have little to no fear of humans because they spend their summers in Mountain streams in Canada and never experience humans.  If these ducks were mergansers or scoters or eiders they would never come within 100 feet of me - let alone the 10 feet that these birds ventured to.  I think their days are numbered as its starting to get warm and they are probably itching to get back to Canada but I'm happy to have experienced them so close today.  

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