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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

At risk

We had seen Common Mergansers already at Stanley Bridge and as we drove toward Cavendish, there were ducks in some open water by the oyster farm. “More mergansers,” I said as my husband as he parked the car. 


The gate of the Oyster Company was open. We approached the building, hoping someone was there so we could ask permission to look around. We discovered later the workers were on the opposite side of the bridge on and under the ice.


The ducks were in the water behind the building. We stealthily made our way along but they swam away of course. 




These weren’t mergansers but I couldn’t identify them. They swam around as we took photos and later flew off. 




Checking the photos, I was surprised to see the ducks were Barrow’s Goldeneyes. These birds are considered “at risk” in eastern Canada. It is estimated that 400 individuals winter in the Maritimes. We saw about 25 of them.




The males are black and white, a black head with a crescent white shape behind the beak. The unique white markings on both sides of the back are indicative of this bird. 





The females are less distinctive, with a brown head and gray body. 




They made a whistling sound as they flew away.


It was a thrill to observe them.



24 comments:

  1. Love the second shot where you caught them flying Marie, that 'flying' shot still evades me ☺ ducks do have wonderful markings.

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    1. I love ducks, PDP. The flying shot was the only good one out of many taken.

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  2. They are definitely unusual looking. You got a couple of really good pictures of them, too. Thanks for the introduction to these guys. :-)

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  3. i'll bet it was a thrill!! how exciting and you got some great pictures. we see a lot of ducks here during the winter that are only here for winter!!!

    a really nice "in flight" capture!!

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    1. Getting out and about for a change was wonderful, Debbie. The ducks were a highlight!

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  4. We get the Common Goldeneye here but not Barrow's. They are beautiful birds to see.

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  5. The male Barrow's Goldeneye is very pretty! Hopefully they make comeback from being 'at risk'.

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  6. Great photos Marie, I don't think I have ever seen one even though there's supposed to be some in Washington State. Sad they are endangered.

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    1. There are more in other parts of Canada, but at risk here, Celia.

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  7. Sounds like you were very lucky to see the Barrow’s Goldeneyes if they are that rare. Lucky you. Hope all is well Diane

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    1. All feels well when we can get out and about, Diane.

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  8. Great shots, Marie. They sure do look lovely. I like your shot with them flying, you caught them perfectly.

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    1. It was one good photo out of many in flight shots, Bill.

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  9. I have never seen them in our lakes. They are beautiful!

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  10. A thrill to see them at all. Thanks.

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