Friday, December 9, 2011

Harlequin Duck at Pukaskwa National Park

Parks Canada staff photographed a stunning male Harlequin Duck off the Manito Miikana peninsula in Pukaskwa National Park today. The bird was found swimming along a very exposed, steep rocky shore - typical wintering habitat for the species.

The Harlequin Duck is considered rare in northern Ontario and 2011 has been a better than average year for sightings in the Thunder Bay District. This fall others have been seen on the Nipigon River (one on Oct 22), at the Thunder Cape Bird Observatory on the Sibley Peninsula (two on Oct 22) and in the Kam River in Thunder Bay (one on Nov 11).

Harlequin Ducks have been sighted in the park a few times before.

Park visitors should note that entrance gate is closed for the season. All access is on foot.

[click on images to enlarge]

December 10 update: We hiked in to the park and enjoyed watching the Harlequin Duck bobbing around in the surf.

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