A wind turbine was squeaking. That's what we thought initially as we approached the bench along the shoreline by the Interpretation Center at North Cape, Prince Edward Island. We had lunch looking over the Gulf of St Lawrence with the breeze at our backs.
My husband and I noticed two flocks of ducks off shore. Watching them as we ate, it became obvious what we thought was a squeaking wind turbine, was the sound of the ducks. They called in unison!
After lunch, we went to the beach and watched one flock as they swam nearby.
Two drakes calling in unison
These were black scoters, diving ducks whose drakes have yellow orange knobs on black bills.
There was one hen in the flock, with the gray-white markings on the lower side of her head, who appeared as if protected by the drakes. She was smaller than the males and sat lower in the water. They often surrounded her
and one displayed courting behavior.
She appeared oblivious.
This island is their winter habitat. They will head out soon to their breeding grounds further north. Meanwhile, the courting dance continues as they feed along the shoreline.
Maybe next year we will see their progeny in the same location.