The weather wasn’t too bad for mid-February. The sun was shining and although it’s always colder by the lake, the wind chill wasn’t prohibitive. Indeed, it was quite easy to spend more time outside.
As in the past few previous years, the better the weather for humans, the fewer gulls come to this event. But this year was exceptionally pretty gull-less. With virtually no ice on the lake, there was no reason for the gulls to come to the shore. A lot of bread was thrown into the lake that day, but even the Canada Geese weren’t interested in it.
It was good to see some people I hadn’t seen in a long time, and the talk was interesting and informative. If I had stayed the entire day I might have seen a male Harlequin Duck that was reported being seen first over the Wisconsin border. But I had a busy evening and next day ahead and knew I would need a nap after the long drive back home.
Much of the time I spent outside was looking at some ducks. There were several Common Goldeneye.
It seemed most of the gulls were out on the ice beyond the yacht club. But as birders with scopes examined the flock, nothing unusual was reported to have been seen.
So I took a few token photos of the Herring Gulls that came in for bread early.
In addition to the Common Goldeneye there were some Lesser and Greater Scaup. When I managed to capture some of them in flight, I looked them up and discovered that the easiest way to tell them apart in flight is the white on the wing, which is a longer stripe on the Greater Scaup.
It was a beautiful day, and from time to time I took a few photos just to celebrate the blue horizon.
February is almost over. We’ve had a little more snow, a lot more rain, blustery cold and warmer temperatures. A bit more like March, perhaps, minus the longer days, but those are on the way too. And those increasingly longer days are calling some birds back to their breeding grounds already. I am starting to see American Robins here and there – individually, not in flocks. And Red-winged Blackbirds are proclaiming territories. Here’s a little sneak preview.