Duluth December Ducks (owls too!)

Today is the 1st of December, and this strange winter continues. In October I went Nordic skiing after two big snow storms. Today I went bicycling up the shore of Lake Superior in 40F cloudy weather … all the snow is gone. Ice is forming in the harbor and I used that fact to track some ducks this morning. The open ice and a lead of open water channeled both the mergansers and goldeneyes towards shore in their mutual search for breakfast.  However both species of ducks spook very easily. In order to get these photographs I had to park the car right next to the shore, and sit motionless using the car as a blind for 90 minutes. Eventually both species of birds forgot about me and moved within easy range of my camera. Thus patience is a HUGE requirement for successful bird photography. Here is the result:


Female Red-Merganser with its catch / fish (look closely!)

Yesterday I also made a trip up to Sax-Zim Bog. It was a gorgeous day with moderate wind and plenty of sunshine. Once again McDavitt Road was the place to be. I watched a Great Gray Owl hunt till the bright light pushed it deep into the Bog. At that point it was time to enjoy the Northern Hawk Owl’s efforts!

Great Gray Owl

Northern Hawk Owl

4 thoughts on “Duluth December Ducks (owls too!)

  1. Hi Richard, Iv’e been following you for about a year now great photos and help with locations. What do you use for your shots ? Camera gear etc. Also I live in the Mill Lac Lake area . Do have any suggestion for my area for photography.


    1. Tom:

      I use the Canon SX60 on bright sunny days … a super zoom bridge camera. I have published a review (read “both” posts … updated review linked from first page). Here is the url:

      From a birding standpoint near Mille Lacs, you want to take 169 North to just north of Aitkin and drives the roads to the east towards the Mississippi River. In addition, purchase a used copy of Kim Eckert’s “A Birder’s Guide to Minnesota (not in print anymore). Even the post is almost 25 years old, the location recommendations are still spot on, and Kim has published downloadable updates on his web site. Here is the Amazon link:

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