My territory basically includes the St. Clair River from Walpole Island north to about the now closed Lambton Generating Station, as well as some inland areas east to Hwy 40. There is a lot of area there, but given that most of it is agriculture or private industrial, there is not a lot of inland area that is able to be covered very thoroughly. So the river gets a lot of viewing time, and normally that takes a lot of effort with lots of waterfowl, gulls, etc. Not so this year. I have never seen the river so devoid of birds!
The last couple of winters, albeit a little later in the season than this, looked like this. A huge amount of ice was present, causing large concentrations of ducks, especially Canvasback, Redhead and Common Goldeneye, to be jammed in to the little open water that there was.
Side note: the day started off with heavy cloud, rain and brisk north wind. It improved somewhat as the day went on, but there was a bit of misty drizzle on and off for most of the day, and certainly not conducive for photography. Hence many of these images were taken under poor light, and I had to ramp the ISO up to 1600 or higher in most cases.
With so few waterfowl to count, I even took the occasional photo of other things. A large church across the river in Michigan looked to have a good turnout.
|Harlequin Duck with Mallards|
At the north end of the territory, I saw one of the two Peregrine Falcons that had been known to hang out at the Lambton Generating Station.