Saturday, January 10, 2009

Odd pic, fab duck.

I doubt this was intended to be an arty picture. It's scanned from a slide, a picture I took as a teenager when a wayward male Harlequin Duck appeared in Toronto Harbour. It was a lifer. I can only imagine how exciting that must have been.

At this time of year you can see HADUs at Stanley Park, at various spots along the seawall. The mouth of the Capilano River is a good bet too.

Non-breeding Harlequin Duck: "frequents both marine and freshwater habitats throughout the province. On the coast, birds usually frequent the often turbulent waters adjacent to to rocky inlets and rocky shores and bays, feeding amongst kelp beds and moving to the islets and exposed rocks or reefs to loaf and preen" (Campbell et al., 1990: 322).


Campbell, R.W., N.K. Dawe, I. McTaggart-Cowan, J.M. Cooper, G.W. Kaiser and M.C.E.McNall. 1990. The Birds of British Columbia. Vol. 1. UBC Press.

1 comment:

Seabrooke said...

Great photo, I love the lighting (whether it was intentional or not). It took me a moment to realize what was being depicted. They're such amazingly patterned ducks as to seem almost unreal.

I have yet to see a male HADU. This despite a number of attempts at the ones that turn up annually in Toronto's various bays, and two trips to the west coast, including Victoria and surrounding area (by ferry). I have managed to see a single female, at a distance of about 200 meters, that could have been a scoter or a bufflehead if I was back in Toronto. I am assured this is a common species, but I might as well be hunting Ivory-bills for all the luck I've had.

I've had similar luck with dippers (found one pair once) and Varied Thrushes (heard one singing distantly), other birds I've made numerous attempts to see, although my viewings:attempts ratio perhaps more approximate the likelihood of seeing Whooping Cranes than Ivory-bills.