Field Trip!

I’ve gotta proctor an exam at UWM this morning, so no time for a park visit. Skies are grey anyway today, and here’s hoping that the redheads will still be there tomorrow.

The good news is that it was crazy nice out yesterday afternoon, I got my chores done early, and a fellow park visitor yesterday had tipped me off about sights to see, so I took a field trip down to the open water around the Discovery World at the Milwaukee water front.

Sure enough, the water is full of fowl, including many of the mergansers, goldeneyes, gulls, and mallards that we see in Estabrook, but also a slew of these handsome devils with blue bills on. My sources tell me that they are greater scaup (Aythya marila) taking a breather on their way to breeding grounds way the heck up north.

The males were not on their own, of course, ’cause that would make the long trip kinda pointless, right?

Finally, here’s a happy couple foraging together.

Their “nonbreeding” areas are southern Illinois and south almost to the gulf, so this truly is an ephemeral treat, and I hope you get to see them in-person before they move on.

Finally, here’s a herring gull picture from a couple of days ago on the Milwaukee River that I didn’t use then, but I just can’t get the look on its face out of my mind.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

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