Early this morning I made a run up to Manitowoc with hopes to see a few recent reported birds. I had hoped for some sun but it remained overcast all morning. I saw 4 Long-tailed Ducks in the harbor. 1 adult male and 3 adult females. These ducks were skittish and for the most part the hung out in the middle of the harbor there which is pretty good size. 2 times they came in for some diving. Stunning ducks, my 2nd time seeing an adult male, and never this close. I had to hide behind a concrete barrier for some time and stay out of sight for them to come in, but it worked. The nice views were very limited. That was it for Manitowoc. My next stop was Sheboygan and I had no luck in seeing the reported female Harlequin Duck. I checked all places I usually check 3 times and out in the water all places. I noticed now it was reported again this afternoon, that is birding. 1 Great Black-backed Gull I was present on a breakwall there. My last stop was at the Port Washington Harbor, very quiet with the usual suspects. All places I thought had few ducks. A cloudy day, the wind was cold at Manitowoc, but other places not too bad. Still a fun day out birding! Images were taken on December 8, 2015.
Binomial name: Clangula hyemalis
Category: Ducks, Geese, and Swans
Size: 16.5” long, 28” wing span
Weight: 1.6 lb
Cool Fact: This duck was once known as Oldsquaw
Great series Jim.
I have heard that there are thousands out in the middle of the lake but few come close to shore.
I once read that the only was to see the massive flock was by an aerial survey plane .
A few years ago there were many more ducks that wintered in Lake Michigan. The cold winters of the last 3 years seem to have decimated their numbers and the collapse of the Alewife population this year are evident in the very small numbers of near shore ducks this year.
Congrats on getting the spectacular photos of the long-tails. Just beautiful!
Nice Pics — Too bad the sun didn’t cooperate
Excellent pictures Jim. Your patience paid off in Manitowoc and yah sometimes the ones you are searching for just aren’t there when u are. Been there. Another day!
Your stunning photos always send me to my Sibley for a careful look. Quite something to see how its breeding plumage colors rearrange themselves. I love seeing the orange patch on the beak and white eyering on the male. Thank you, thank you for your time, patience and skill in getting these wonderful and for me, educational pics. Anne