Winter Storm and Winter Ducks/ Ashbridge’s Bay: February 12, 2019

The Tuesday group hasn’t had the best luck with the weather so far this winter. It was frigid on January 22 and the biggest snowfall so far of the year fell on January 29. Here is what the weather forecast was for this morning:

Hazardous winter conditions are expected.

A winter storm with a combination of 15 to 25 cm snow and ice pellets, possible freezing rain, and strong winds is expected today into tonight.

Snow at times heavy continues over the region. Strong easterly winds gusting near 70 km/h will result in sudden and significantly reduced visibility due to blowing snow. Stronger wind gusts near 80 km/h are also possible near the shores of Lake Ontario this morning. 

Despite this, I wasn’t alone on this -6 degree morning:

There was quite a variety of duck species in the limited shelter of the marina bay:

Mallards
Bufflehead (male), Lesser Scaup (male) and two Long-tailed Ducks
Lesser Scaup (female), Long-tailed Duck (female), White-winged Scoter (female) and Common Goldeneye (female)
Redheads
Long-tailed Duck (female), Lesser Scaup (male) and Common Goldeneye (male)
Long-tailed Duck (male)
many Buffleheads
White-winged Scoters
White-winged Scoter (female)

Species list: mallard, bufflehead, long-tailed duck, common goldeneye, redhead, lesser scaup, white-winged scoter, northern cardinal.  (8 species) Strangely, a cardinal was singing near the parking lot.

As you can imagine, photography was a challenge but I always like to get at least plant:

Great Burdock (Arctium Lappa)

Photos from the park:

COMING UP: February 17 in Friends of Miles: Some Birds from Algonquin Park: Ian Valentine

February 13 in Articles: Mallards

NATURE POETRY

Chill airs and wintry winds! my ear
Has grown familiar with your song;
I hear it in the opening year,
I listen, and it cheers me long.    

 – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–82)

Miles Hearn

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