Even though last week was consistently warmer than the weeks before, it still took a long time to turn the lakefront from ice to water. Some smaller bodies of water are still frozen, but Lake Michigan, at least on the Chicago shore, is now open to ducks. However, as soon as they leave, if not before — although I’m sure the presence of ducks is not the trigger for this event — the yacht club will start putting out the buoys for the boats.
Below is a little photographic ice check timeline.
Of course the light was great on the days when there was not much to photograph but ice.
And even as the ice seemed to be melting steadily all week, on Friday the 13th, as luck would have it, the ice was right up to the shoreline again. I suspect that all the ice that was farther out had floated in to the harbor.
After the warming weekend, though, ducks were beginning to show up close enough to look at, even if the light wasn’t so wonderful.
And Ring-Billed Gulls have started coming back in droves.
By the middle of the week there were some more ducks in the harbor.
I’ve taken better photos of Red-Breasted Mergansers but I like these guys so much I can’t resist posting this one anyway. After all, I’ve likely never taken his picture before.
The Ring-Billed Gulls are getting ready for the tourist season.
And on land the only newcomer I saw last week was a Common Grackle, but all returns are welcome.
I haven’t been able to get out every day this week but I’ll continue to go when I can and I look forward to documenting whatever arrives..
Great photos and wonderful weather now and to come. Just one criticism, you should have entitled this “Owl Thawed Out”. Just kidding. Too much time on my hands.
I wish I had an owl! Thanks, Linda, for your lovely comment. 🙂
That’s a good and nicely documented report on Lake Michigan’s birds Lisa! 🙂
Thanks, H.J. I was lucky the birds were cooperating, they have been too far out to photograph lately. You go running down there to see if there’s the reported Red-Throated Loon or Black Scoter and see nothing but Mergansers… 🙂
Great photos, Lisa. I’m glad you are getting back closer to normal again. 🙂
Thanks so much Bob. I am looking forward to warmer weather here when I get back from S.A. We’re still on the cusp. 🙂
I do like mergansers.
I know you do and so do I so expect to see more. 🙂
I read on another blog that many ducks were starving because they couldn’t get to their food through the ice. I wonder if that is no longer happening.
I don’t think it was as bad as last year but I’m sure it was the case in some areas. The lake is thawed out now and other bodies of water are coming back to life so I think it should be okay now. Thanks for your comment. 🙂