Great Lakes 94% Frozen this is for the diving ducks
Of course only crazy photographers and bird watchers would venture out when the temps dropped to record lows to see the migration of diving ducks, near the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron Michigan.
Friday February 27,2015, The sun was shinning bright begging for all of us hibernating Michiganders to come out side and play. Then as we opened the door to the outside world Mother Nature reminded us who was in charge as the temps dropped to record lows. I bundled up with my military cold weather gear good to -40F below. I thought I will be toasty warm during my photography trip to Port Huron to see the migrating diving ducks, for the most part I was, but still felt the sting of the cold and concern for frost bite in the fingers, toes and nose. This is considered the kind of winter weather that can be deadly.
So how is it our feathered friends seem to thrive in the cold open waters near the Port Huron Bridge . You think they would turn in to a block of ice. These diving ducks migrate to the open waters near the Blue Water Bridge in search of food.
The merganser male and female ducks paddle up the recently opened channel in the St Clair river waters North to the edge of Lake Huron ice flow and float back. On the way they seem to hop into the air and dive deep into the cold waters. As time passes you start to think they must have froze to death, as they disappear for long periods of time. Then all of a sudden you will see them pop to the surface with a morsel of food in their mouths. Their feathers are coated in ice as the drops of water quickly freeze. They do not seem to mind the cold, but instead thrive. The waters this time of year are clear and a blue turquoise green. You can see the bottom of the channel and the birds as they swim deep to pick up a zebra mussels that seem to be one of their favorite snacks.
These mergansers are joined by the Oldsquaw, also known as the Long-tailed ducks. These ducks seem to express their opinion on the cold a little more. Or the one below has just developed a very cold stare.