Monday, February 17, 2014


Jeremy Hatt and I have been checking out the open water at Lakeview Park Marina the past couple of weekends for something different while staying in Essex County. There are a lot of waterfowl here clinging onto whatever open water they can find.  Our main goal has been Red-necked Grebe each visit, as they have been showing up on Ebird, but unfortunately we can only find Horned Grebe. Both Red-necked Grebe and White-winged Scoters are on the move as the lakes continue to freeze.  We did see many White-winged Scoters, and I don't think I have ever seen so many Long-tailed Ducks in Essex County (even before the big freeze) this winter.  The ducks at the marina have been providing great views for both photographers and birders alike, though it is clear that the ducks are having a hard time and we saw some dead Mergansers and Canvasbacks floating in the water. Bald Eagles in turn are taking advantage of the dead and dying as we saw many feeding on ducks as well.  We also observed Great Blue Herons standing like statues along the shores of Peche Island looking utterly miserable, though I'm sure they too would go after anything dead or dieing like the eagles.  Then there are all the Mute Swans, and there are a TON of them!  I wonder if they taste good? Seriously if they do taste good I think we should have open season on them.

Ebird list from February 15th:

 Canvasback drake. Photo by Marianne Balkwill

 Canvasback hen.  Photo by Marianne Balkwill

Common Goldeneye drake. Photo by Marianne Balkwill

Another spot Jeremy and I checked out recently was the Little River corridor.  Here too puddle ducks and divers are giving great views including at the pollution control plant tanks which had a Lesser Scaup and a Canvasback among the Mallards.  The steam rising out of the tanks make it appear like a hot spring.

Ebird list from February 9th:

We are FINALLY in for some warmer weather this week starting tomorrow (after a forecasted 4 inches of snow tonight!!!)  However, it looks like old man winter will be seeing us again towards the end of the month. I wonder if we will find any remaining snow piles in the woods in Point Pelee this May?  I heard of some people who have, but I think I have only seen it snow during that month, not the actual remnants of winter.


  1. I don't think that there ever was a Red-necked Grebe at the Lakeview Park Marina. The one photo available showed it to be a Horned Grebe.

  2. Very nice photos, Marianne. Still a ton of Mute Swans on the St. Clair River. I was hoping this winter would do them in!