Long-tailed duck, a new one for me
Hubby and I sat lakeside in Newport this morning enjoying a cup of coffee. Sea gulls were scattered about here and there. We saw two great blue herons fly in, one landed on the distant shore while the 2nd disappeared around the corner.
I was watching a great black-backed gull when suddenly I realized a small duck was bobbing around. The water was a bit choppy, the skies overcast and light rain was falling. It was not the best of photographing conditions, however I did take a few photos.
I’d only seen a great black-backed gull one time before and that surprisingly was in our own backyard.
The black-backed gull is the largest gull species in the world. According to All About Birds, “The Great Black-backed Gull is one of many bird species whose feathers were used for fashionable clothing in the 1800s. After the demise of the feather trade in the early 1900s, Great Black-backed Gull populations increased and spread farther south. Garbage dumps and other sources of human refuse have contributed to their range expansion.”
Now back to the long-tailed duck, what an interesting little duck! It use to be called “oldsquaw” because of its vocalization even though its the male that does the most talking! This unique duck breeds in the Arctic and winters along both coasts of North America as well as fresh water lakes. I read that the male has the long pointed tail while the female’s is quite short. Wikipedia
While we watched, this adorable female made frequent dives and it was a challenge to catch her at the surface. I do wish I had gotten better photos but I am happy I got any at all. How exciting to watch especially since this was a first time sighting for me! 🙂
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“Everyday may not be good, but there’s something good in every day.”