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We are known as PaWingers or just The Wingers by our Geocaching friends. When we found our first cache we had to come up with a name to log the find. We came up with this name simply because of residing in Pa. and because one of our many passions is cruising this beautiful country on our Honda Goldwing. Aside from geocaching we are passionate about most anything outdoors including hiking, kayaking, snowmobiling and biking. We are blessed beyond words with a wonderful son and daughter in law. We're also blessed with some terriffic family and friends. We consider ourselves very fortunate due to the fact that after being married over 40 years we still enjoy these things together.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Lesser Scaup joins our Blog

If you have been following our Blog for some time you may realize that we are trying to photograph and document the many species of ducks that inhabit our area.  This past weekend we visited Erie for a day of fun.  Our day began with a visit to Erie Downs to put a little money on the horses.  On a positive note we had a great day at the races and had a few horses that cooperated nicely with our wagering.  On a not so positive note, looks like I will still need full time employment and a tax shelter won't be required to hide our winnings.

No trip to Erie would be complete without a trip out to the Peninsula but today we decided to try something a bit different.  We decided to go up the tower at Bayfront and check out the Peninsula from across the bay.  If you ever get the chance, pay the 3 bucks and go up the tower at Bayfront.  You will not be disappointed.  Once you get to the top via an elevator, you'll learn a lot about Lake Erie.  We were shocked to learn that there are over 400 ship wrecks in this Great Lake.  One can only shut your eyes and imagine the action that took place during the War of 1812.  Lot's of history here for certain!

As we circled the top of the tower looking out over the bay we couldn't help but notice some ducks gathered below in the bay.  After returning to ground level we needed to check these quackers out.  There was one duck in particular that caught our eye.  After some time and a good bit of patience we finally got this duck within range of the 100-400mm.  We were thrilled to get some decent pictures of this new species which we later identified as the Lesser Scaup.  The Greater Scaup is so similar that it is difficult to see the difference. Both have the Golden eye and the blue gray bill with the black nail at the tip.  The attraction for these diving ducks happen to be the Zebra Mussells.  Unfortunately the Zebra Mussells are loaded with environmental nasties which doesn't make for a real desirable staple for the Scaups.


Willard said...

They are beautiful ducks and you captured them well. I can seldom get close enough to them to take stills except at Middle Creek and then I have to use the 500mm with 1.4 or 2x extender.

Willard said...

A stunning pose, Tom!

Coy said...

Nice work! Love the blue water.
I've read that the zebra mussels are the reason that the lake water is clear and that smallmouth bass population have increased.

Poor 'Ol Willard is a land lubber, thats why he never gets close-up scaup shots :)
I always get my scaup shots from the boat, it's the only way I can get close enough.