Patience is a virtue.

Since I began my nature treks in conjunction with this blog, the beautiful Canvasback Duck has remained on my annual “Birdie Bucket List” but a sighting of one has thus far eluded me. These beautiful ducks, usually just referred to as “Canvasbacks” generally nest and live in the Great Plains states, but migrate to Michigan to overwinter along the Detroit River, Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair shorelines. There are annual, organized field trips by the Detroit Audubon Society and the Metroparks to view the paddlings, (a/k/a “rafts”), of Canvasbacks. Through the years I’ve seen plenty of photos of these ducks on the Dingell Park Facebook page, yet there has never been a sighting by Yours Truly whenever I’ve been at that venue.

On the last leg of my Detroit River excursion on Sunday, February 27th, I finally got a chance to catch sight of some Canvasbacks. I owe that opportunity to a couple of birders I was chatting with at Dingell Park. They told me they belong to the Detroit Audubon Society and usually attend that organization’s excursions. When our discussion turned to ducks, I mentioned the Canvasbacks and how I would like to see them. The gentleman then peered through his binoculars and told me there was a large paddling of Canvasbacks about a half-mile away near the BP gas station and marina. From my perspective, with my naked eye, they looked like a lot of dots on the water, but I was game to go there, so I thanked him and said “I’m going to head there and hopefully it’s not private property or a closed marina and I have some luck.”

So, I set out on that half-mile trek to see the Canvasbacks. Well yes, from the main road, if I craned my neck, I could indeed see some, but I was greedy to see them up close. The marina gate was wide open with no “private property” or “no trespassing” signs to impede me, so I decided to approach the shoreline, though admittedly I kinda slunk behind some huge fir trees, then crept ever closer along the cement walkway parallel to the marina. The Canvasbacks were still not all that close.

Though I remained very still, something spooked those ducks and they scattered, some taking flight …

… and some paddling as fast as those webbed feet could go, all in an effort to get away from this hulking human.

Then they regrouped and I got a few more pictures, albeit not stellar, but closer than before.

Later, when viewing the photos on the computer screen, if I squinted just right, I could see a couple of Bufflehead Ducks in the group (top right).

I half-wished I’d see someone and could just ask if I could go right to the shoreline, but in my heart I knew I needed to leave before someone told me to do so, but not before I took a few shots of the marina, with Mud Island in the background.

Well yay me – I was happy to cross Bald Eagles AND Canvasback Ducks off my Birdie Bucket List the same day!

But wait … the best was yet to come!

Having one’s ducks in a row … (most of the time anyway).

Mom preached many words of wisdom to me, from the time I was a child until I was an adult. Among her favorite “Momisms” was this English proverb: “Good things come to those who wait.”

Another favorite expression of hers, (usually voiced in a sigh of exasperation directed at me), was “Lord, love a duck!”

Following a delightful day at Dingell Park and my first glimpse of those Canvasback Ducks at the marina, I once again returned to my favorite nature nook, Council Point Park. As I walked along the perimeter path I wondered if the pair of Mute Swans would still be there. It was cold and gray and when I suited up for my walk, I purposely left the camera behind as I reasoned “what more could I ask for after yesterday’s bountiful waterfowl shots?”

While I was content to settle for the faraway photos of those coveted Canvasbacks down along the Detroit River shoreline, who knew the very next day a solitary male Canvasback with its rust-toned plumage and amazing red eyes would hold me captive in the very same spot as the Mute Swans had a mere 24 hours earlier? I quickly scanned the Creek for a similar-shaped duck with dull plumage, which might be its mate, but I saw none.

Well, there I was without the camera and I cursed myself for leaving it at home. That’s the third time I’ve had this happen, also on a work day. Before, when I saw a Mama Mallard with a slew of ducklings walking behind her and most recently with the wall-to-wall shad. You’d think I’d have learned – sigh. In those instances I had driven that day – but not this time. I had a one-mile trek if I were to go home and retrieve the car and the camera. I’d need to take the car out of the garage, drive back, take photos, drive home, put the car away and still be on time for work. To say I was annoyed with myself is an understatement and, as I gazed at this duck, I said “just capture the images in your mind Linda – there will be other Canvasbacks.” I watched this duck dipping and diving in the Creek, just ten feet from where I stood, then I left.

As I walked home I noticeably picked up the pace as I decided this up-close Canvasback Duck would complement the lame faraway shots taken at the marina and would become a separate post. I made it home, unlaced my hiking boots, padded in sock feet to get the camera and was in the car headed back to the Park in record time. There was a 50% chance that duck might have left.

The Canvasback was there, but instead of being “almost touchable” it had moved away and was preening on top of some ice in the middle of the Creek. I took a lot of shots, in between when the duck came up for air after preening and picking its feathers, then I headed home. Whew – I hoped this flurry of activity at least resulted in one good shot. Well, given the gray day, it wasn’t too bad.

I vowed never to leave the house without the camera again.

The next morning was sunny and gorgeous, the month of March coming in like the proverbial lamb and, while I strolled the perimeter path, I wondered if that meant March would exit like a lion? I thrilled to the trills of the Red-winged Blackbird which always reminds me Spring is near. That Blackbird remembered me from last year as it stopped singing and eagerly flew down to the path to await a peanut.

I figured the Canvasback Duck had likely moved on, but you’d better believe my camera was tucked in my zippered pocket.

Well after Monday’s mad dash to get photos, the Canvasback Duck was still there, near the cement ledge, paddling around. Look at the bright-red eyes! I whipped out the camera. Must. Take. More. Pics.

Just hangin’ with my buds.

I’ve observed in my many nature walks that ducks are basically social creatures, even though I have witnessed male Mallards’ occasional aggressive behavior, which is likely a territorial issue around breeding time. At Elizabeth Park it is not unusual to see the Mallards, Pekins and Hybrid Mallards huddling en masse in the dead of Winter, or paddling together amiably in the canals and Detroit River shorelines in the other seasons.

This Canvasback Duck lingered for the rest of the week at the Creek at Council Point Park, co-mingling with the Mallards.

Maybe he was a loner, but he seemed to fit in.

All the ducks went missing from the Creek on March 5th after a gusty windstorm. When the Mallards returned from sheltering along the shoreline, my Canvasback pal was missing and has not returned. He has likely joined his brethren down at the River.

For you birders, click here to read a recent article about Canvasbacks here in Michigan.

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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75 Responses to Patience is a virtue.

  1. Anne says:

    What a stroke of good fortune!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Zazzy says:

    You know, there’s some argument for just enjoying the experience without always being behind the lens, but then you couldn’t share the experience with us! And I love to travel along with you on your walks. I’m learning so much about ducks and swans and eagles. Many of the different kinds of ducks I didn’t even know existed.

    And isn’t it funny that once you found the elusive canvasback they would suddenly be there wherever you looked? Don’t you carry a phone with you while you walk? Not as good of a picture, especially as my hands shake and my phone pics are pretty terrible without my tripod, but it’s better than nothing. And a phone is handy should you fall and break something. Who would have thought when we were growing up that one day we would pretty much always have a phone with us no matter where we went? Still waiting on those flying cars.

    But – please do take your camera on your walks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      You are right Zazzy – yes I stood there looking at it thinking, I’ll just remember this and don’t need a photo for goodness sake, then changed my mind. All that effort to get the initial pictures, then it was stayed there several days. They are very pretty with the plumage and those bright-red eyes (which look like a flash mis-fire). I’m glad to show you some of our waterfowl – we do have some others I’ve taken photos of in the bigger parks, herons and egrets mostly. There is a resident heron at this Park, but he is very skittish and I occasionally get pictures of “Harry” but only if he is studying fish at the Creek and doesn’t see me. 🙂

      I watch the Dingell Park Facebook site to see what photographers are posting and I’d see these groups of Canvasbacks and wish I could see them. Also, those photographers have lenses along as their arm, so no wonder they are getting up close shots of them by Mud Island or perched on a far away ice floe.

      I think sometimes about the first cellphone I saw – an attorney got one that was in a small suitcase and he bought it as he liked to play golf, so wanted to be in touch with the office. He got the phone and did a show-n-tell and we were all gathered around gawking at it. I also remember learning how to do a very rudimentary fax machine that you cranked up like an old Victrola and it was a drum that emitted this smell like burning rubber tires!

      I do carry a cellphone, a flip phone. I think it has a camera, but I’ve never learned how to use it as I usually have the digital compact in my pocket or hooked on my fanny pack in the Summer. The pictures likely wouldn’t be that good, but yes, a good backup. I had to get this camera in 2021 as they were discontinuing 3G phones in February 2022 and my old flip phone was a 3G. So I use my landline for everything as I work from the home and am sitting right next to the phone all day and the cellphone I carry for emergencies only and I have OnStar in my car. I call my landline to discharge the cellphone’s battery, then recharge it and I never have it turned on. Only one time I used it to make a call. I was walking to the Park and came upon a Mama Mallard, with two ducklings in tow and she was at a sewer drain looking in, quacking and tiny quacks were coming from the sewer. I called the Police Department to have them contact the Animal Control Officer. In the meantime, I was trying to calm the mom down by talking to her and several neighbors came over, one jumped into the sewer and rescued some ducklings … the animal control officer arrived near the end and I won’t give away the end in case you, an animal lover like me, would like to read the post … I’ll put it in a separate comment for you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zazzy says:

        My friend Beth carried a Brick during the early years of cell phones. We lived in Wyoming and she traveled throughout the eastern part of the state doing psych testing for various reasons, mostly for education plans for special needs kids. More than once I sat on the phone with her when she was driving home through a blizzard just so I could tell rescuers where to find her if necessary. We all have different relationships with our phones. I finally got a smart phone when I moved in 2016. It’s now my only phone, I kinda miss my old flip phone but I do like to be able to text and take snapshots, even blurry ones.

        You are such a fun and talented story teller, both in words and photos. The story of Mama Mallard was nail biting but I don’t want to spoil the ending in case someone else wants to read those posts. I am very glad for those folks who stop and help wildlife in need.

        With regard to herons. Once, leaving Atchison, KS, and heading toward Kansas City I had (fortunately) just turned on to the highway and was therefore not going full speed. A big blue heron landed right in front of my car from out of no where, spread his legs and wings in a comic horror film gesture – you had to imagine the scream but I’m sure he was screaming inside his head. And almost instantly he took off and was not hit by my car. My heart eventually turned to normal and I’m assuming he survived as well.

        Like

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Those early cellphones were so huge, even when they were stand-alone and didn’t need a suitcase to carry them in. I think the time will come when a smartphone will be needed for almost everything. When I did some 5K walks before COVID and the walks went virtual, I had to ask permission to be allowed access to the start line since I couldn’t show the code they sent me on my phone.

        I’m glad you enjoy the posts Zazzy and thank you. I have fun writing them and often there is something funny or some funny pictures I took to make this type of post, like these rescued ducklings. I think with all the dissension in the world these days, complete strangers came together and created a bond to save these little fuzzballs. I love Springtime when the ducklings and goslings make their debut.

        I can imagine that would be scary with the heron, usually so streamlined when flying with those legs behind it and that huge wingspan, now gangly-looking and in sheer terror from almost meeting his fate. I’m glad you assume the story had a happy ending!

        Like

    • Linda Schaub says:

      This is a long post Zazzy and this is what I referenced in my other comment. And there is a follow-up post too, but looking at the photos and my synopsis in the other comment tells it all although there is a little twist at the end.

      https://lindaschaubblog.net/2021/07/17/sos-ducklings-in-distress/

      https://lindaschaubblog.net/2021/07/24/feelin-just-ducky-update-to-duckling-rescue/

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, what wonderful luck you had. I’ve never seen (or noticed) a Canvasback before. They have very interesting coloring. Thank you for your perseverance and for sharing the photos. Yesterday, on my walk (without a camera, of course) I saw the cutest, chubby, gray squirrel and thought of you. I even wanted to call him “Parker”! Enjoy the nice spring weather, Linda, yesterday it was 60 here in WI. It’ll be rainy and cold the rest of the week, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It’s funny as I’m not a birder really Shelley, just noticing waterfowl and “reporting” on them, but I was struck by these ducks with the pretty plumage and bright-red eyes (which look like a camera flash misfire). The last two times I vowed I would not leave the camera behind, but you know how it is … it’s gray and ugly out, or looks like rain and you don’t want to get it wet or you’ve sorted through a ton of photos and don’t want to sort pictures for a long time. See, the same thing happened to you with the cute squirrel. We’ve got the same ugly weather all week plus snowflakes the tail end of the week – today was gorgeous, just like yesterday.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I love watching the birds, but they can be hard to photograph. Yesterday, we had a HUGE flock of Robins arrive in our yard and the field surrounding our house. They were EVERYWHERE. We’ve never seen that happen before. Of course I tried to get photos. We’ll see how many actually turn out.
        Each day seems just a bit more like spring – I hope the trend continues so that you get more walks in before the heat hits us.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        You are not the first person saying they saw lots of Robins this year. One walker said she saw 17 one morning and I’ve seen lots of them too. My friend Ann Marie saw a huge load of them way back in January. I hope I get lots of walking days in too Shelley. The next four days look crummy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Robins are still here and busy eating whatever is popping up from the ground.
        We’ve been having yucky weather – it’s only 34 degrees and feels like 27 today – but no rain or snow so we’ll bundle up and walk again. We can’t wait until we don’t have to layer up just to go out and walk! Stay warm and safe, Linda!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Same here with the yucky weather. We are still having a wintry mix Saturday morning – there goes a walk. This morning it was sunny and bright and a huge dark cloud moved in so cut the walk short as we had some powerful storms last night and I thought they might be “leftover” … in the end it never rained the rest of the day.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It was only 16 this morning…………….I’m so done with March’s weather madness!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        We were 13 when I got up this morning, but it warmed up a tad, but there was black ice and snow squalls this morning. I went for a walk this afternoon, but not to the Park, just the ‘hood. We have unsettled weather and another wintry mix Tuesday into Wednesday. SMH.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Man, Linda…this March has been brutal! We have 12 degrees this morning. I don’t hear the wind, though, so maybe we’ll get to walk. We are expecting rain/sleet for March 31st. Out like a lion?!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Brutal indeed Shelley. I was freezing and we had a stiff wind on top of it and temps in the teens. I decided to drive to give the car a run and I didn’t last too long on the trail. Our sleet is coming in the wee hours of Wednesday and just rain on the 31st. I never heard anyone say “in like a lamb/lion” this year. We had lamb-like behavior on the 1st of March. I hope we turn a corner soon – we have flakes forecast for later in the week again!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Winter is holding on tight. I hear the snow plow going by now. That means there’s enough snow on the ground to push it around and salt. UGH.
        We can both celebrate when it finally leaves and hold onto the warmth for as long as we can.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Winter is piggy now – it has had its chance to shine; time to step aside and let Spring shine. Between the freezing rain, high winds and light snow early tomorrow, it’s just crazy. Yes, no complaining about the heat and humidity – no matter what!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Ari says:

    Awesome photos. I have never heard of Canvasback ducks, they looked so pretty!! I had a great weekend for birds!

    We saw a Jay, hidden amongst some trees – haven’t seen one in years. Then in the space of a 20min walk we saw (along with our usuals): Treecreeper, wren, goldcrest and bullfinches. I wish they had come close enough and stopped moving fast enough to get photos but alas, it wasn’t to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      The Canvasbacks are so pretty to see Ari and at long last I saw one up close. You had a great morning seeing all those birds … quite a collection and yes, I’ve had that happen too. You have the camera with you and either you see no birds, or they flit past you so quickly, they are a blur. I like the Jays – we have them at the Park where I walk every day. They share peanuts with the squirrels. This morning a Jay saw me, but the squirrels must’ve slept in and the Jay shrieked and a few Jays joined him for peanuts … made my day.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. when you leave without your camera you can be sure of one thing……you’ll end up regretting it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pam Lazos says:

    Love your mom’s “Lord, love a duck” saying, Linda. 💕😂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. J P says:

    Isn’t that always the way – the best photo subjects come when you don’t have a camera. Modern cell phones have all but eliminated this scourge from my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, I just have a flip phone JP and haven’t even tried taking photos on it as I don’t use it with an internet connection. I use my landline for work, so for me the cellphone is just for emergency use only. I may get a smartphone once I retire and no longer need the landline. I see pictures and videos taken with cellphones “on the fly” and they are excellent.

      Like

  8. peggy says:

    Birds, birds everywhere. You captured some beautiful birds in this post. What a great place to visit. I think the ducks scare themselves sometimes and just decide to take flight. Great post Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Peggy – I was happy to see this Canvasback duck up close as they such pretty ducks with their pretty plumage and bright-red eyes (which look like a flash misfire). I was just going to tack on my little expedition to the marina at the end of last week’s post, but after that Canvasback was so close to me, I had a whole new twist to that story.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. trumstravels says:

    Oh my, I haven’t heard that expression “Lord love a duck” for ages. lol brings back memories. Great for you to get a photo of a duck you wanted. They are cool, I like them and also the Bufflehead ducks. My husband and I always say there’s a baffled duck! hahaha We were out this morning but saw mostly Canada Geese….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I wonder if it is a more common Canadian expression? My mother had a collection of sayings – some funny sometimes and I’d hear my grandmother using them too. I can’t tell you how many times in the Winter I’d go down to the River looking for these Canvasbacks which migrate here for the Winter months, then return to the Plains states in Spring. They gather in huge groups – much bigger than what I saw before they were startled and took flight. Their eyes are bright red. My first Bufflehead duck too. We have Hooded Mergansers that also overwinter at the Detroit River. I will put those on my Birdie Bucket List for next year. 🙂 I’ve been checking out the shoreline at the Creek for goose nests – the Canada Geese will be building their nests soon as the goslings usually make their debut around Mother’s Day at the Park.

      Like

  10. Such interesting coloring. At our local lake we have mostly Canadian geese and a few ducks but not many.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Laurie says:

    Wow! I can’t believe how close you got to that canvasback! Awesome photos!!! I have seen canvasbacks at our local lake, but just in migration. I don’t believe they stick around too long here. Maybe when you retire, you will want to join some of the Audubon Society’s excursions. It’s fun having lots of pairs of eyes to find birds. I learned a lot just by going out with our local bird club.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I felt really lucky Laurie … I had to get the camera and come back even on that gray day. They overwinter every year and I’ve gone to different parks and never seen them, so I felt pretty lucky to be so close up to it. I’ve thought about joining the Detroit Audubon Society once I retire as I follow them on Facebook now to see where they go on their excursions and what they see and try to learn something from them for now.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. ruthsoaper says:

    Patience and persistence Linda. This is so cool that you got to cross both the eagle and canvasback of you bird list.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow! I’m so glad you saw the big group of canvasbacks and then the single male. I’ve never seen one, although I did spot a bufflehead once. Lovely post, Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you. I felt lucky seeing the single male Anne. Those bright-red eyes and pretty plumage. I hope to see the groups of Canvasbacks that I see pictures of, like in the article, maybe 50-100 traveling at one time. For now, I was happy to see these and the solo Canvasback. I’ve never even seen posts of Buffleheads at the Dingell Park Facebook site which I follow to see what’s happening at Dingell Park, so these might have been visitors.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Rebecca says:

    It’s always fun to mark new sightings off our list. Beautiful captures, Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda…………………………………i’ve never seen a canvasback duck before………………………………………beautiful………………………………….thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Joni says:

    Wow Linda….what luck! I’ve never even heard of canvasback ducks, but what beauties they are!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, I thought it was kind of funny Joni- here I was, essentially trespassing to get the faraway shots, then I saw it up close. . The canvasback ducks travel in big groups, but likely only people with binoculars or long lenses would get to see them close up. Here was this duck just a few feet away from me. I never heard of them before I started following the Dingell Park Facebook site to see what was going on down there at the Detroit River boardwalk (I was always especially hopeful to see the eagles or the cygnets. Their bright-red eyes and rust-colored head make them very striking looking.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I bet your mom also told you that persistence pays off. 😉 Congratulations on finding and capturing the canvasback!!! They’re very handsome. Your perseverance was well rewarded. I find ducks very difficult to photograph, even when they seem to be close enough. Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures and all that you went through to get them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes Barbara – my mom had a lot of different sayings and yes she did tell me that persistence paid off too. 🙂 Thank you and glad you liked the story and pictures. This was special with this canvasback since it had been a long time that I’d been watching the Dingell Park Facebook page and seeing photographers post their canvasback photos, yet I saw none when I was down there at the Detroit Riverfront.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Ally Bean says:

    If I’ve seen a canvasback duck I’m not aware of it. It’s always the way though that when I don’t have a camera with me I see something unique. I love that you acknowledged this, but then went on to get your picture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      To be honest Ally, I’m not a birder and if not for following the Dingell Park website to see what people are seeing down at the River, I wouldn’t know a Canvasback either. Since I use a flip phone just for emergencies, I never learned how to take photos with it and wirelessly connect to upload the photos to a computer. I don’t use it for e-mail/internet. I stewed about it all the way home and decided to go for it, half expecting to find it gone when I returned. And I might add that I returned sans snacks and a few squirrels waylaid me as I walked 1/2 mile to get to the location … “oh boy – we missed you earlier – what did you bring us?” Just myself and the camera. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Dave says:

    If it’s any consolation, Linda, you do a great job describing a scene in words, even when you don’t have your camera. But I’m glad you got the closeups because only then could I see the red head and eyes (which I’ve never seen in a duck before). Interesting name too – “canvasback”. Perhaps because they have a solid grey/white color and it’s more unique than I think?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Dave – I try to paint a picture so people feel like they were there alongside me and I’m glad I’m having some success! I wanted to stress the intense red eyes because I didn’t want someone to think it was a flash misfire – the eyes really look like they glow in the dark, especially against the rust-colored head. Yes, they are named for their mostly white-as-a-blank-canvas back. The females have very mottled and dull plumage, much like you see with the female Mallard where the males are so colorful. It is considered a rather unique duck, especially here since we only see them in the Winter – they nest in the Plains states and they break down cattails and nest in the the stems and foliage of the cattails, right in the water and if the water level goes up, they rebuild beneath the nest to raise it up!

      Like

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks for that link Andy – you’re right, the same head coloring and those intense red eyes and yours even have a white slash of color on the bill. They are really a beautiful duck to see up close.

      Like

  20. Prior... says:

    Linda – such a wonderful post to read about your finally seeing the canvass backs and then having that one special one come and visit you for a photo shoot opp! And not getting spiritual on you here / but if that was me I would be thanking God big time / sounded divine !
    And the way the birders happened to be there with their binoculars and saw them in the Distance on 27th!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It was amazing Yvette – there I was all excited about seeing those canvasbacks in a small group and kind of far away, then here was this wonderful opportunity presented to me. You are right, that canvasback was a gift and showed up just for me! Yes perhaps divine intervention. The birders were so nice. I follow the Detroit Audubon Society on Facebook so I know what’s going on bird-wise in the area. So I was chitchatting about some of the recent trips they’d been on, when I asked about the canvasbacks. (The canvasback outing is usually an annual Audubon event.) Luck was with me for sure both days!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Prior... says:

    Also, loved this – “just capture the images in your mind Linda”

    Liked by 2 people

  22. I have never seen a canvasback in our area. I can’t believe how many more types of birds you get being north of us. You sure capture some great pictures Linda.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Diane – I was looking for these guys a long time. The solo Canvasback never did return after that windstorm. These ducks migrate here for the Winter months from the Great Plains states … they sure fly a long way just to be in the icy waters!

      Like

  23. I’m going to keep my eyes open for Canvasbacks over here in CA. Maybe we’ll see some in SF when we take a local outing out there.
    Our neighborhood pond was drained, probably due to the severe drought, and that’s decreased our chances of seeing ducks and geese. A fence kept everyone in their place, so you could enjoy watching them swimming and hanging around.
    But we have another pond where the ducks and geese are aggressive. They get very close to humans and the geese don’t mind walking up close either. You’ve got to be brave to walk around there with the dust they stir up, poop on the ground, and overly eager birds.
    I miss the drained pond. Last year we saw Coots, a nesting duck, geese, turtles. Now it’s dusty and deserted.

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    • Linda Schaub says:

      I hope you see them Esther – I would love to see the Wood Ducks or Merganser Ducks as they are so unique. That’s a shame they drained your pond. I hope they relocated the waterfowl and turtles. We had the pond drain on its own at Willow Creek Metropark. A drain collapsed I think they said and overnight the pond drained. It was quite big and they had boats and paddleboats shaped like dragons and swans you could rent by the hour.

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      • It’s a shame they drained the pond. The ambiance was nice for the park goers, bikers, and locals just hanging out there. I never thought about the animals getting relocated till you mentioned it. I do hope they were taken to another safe space; the park has a animal rescue center by the park so I’m sure they would’ve taken responsible steps. Lots of squirrels there too; they must miss their water friends. First time we saw a coot at that pong with their funny little webbed feet.

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      • Linda Schaub says:

        I just Googled to see if the pond was repaired – not yet and it happened in May 2021. It was a 17-acre pond. I never saw a coot before, but saw Andy’s pictures.

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      • Coots are interesting birds and their webbed feet are interesting. I saw them on Andy’s blog too.

        Liked by 1 person

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