Today while participating in the Wabasha Christmas Bird Count, we found an
adult male Harlequin Duck below the dam at Alma, Wisconsin. The bird was
clearly visible below the Minnesota side of the dam, which is approached by
walking a mile across the dike from the parking area on the shore south of
Wabasha. Of course you can drive to the dam on the other side of the river
at Alma, but then you are far from the duck and I doubt it will be easy to
see at that distance. But, I haven't tried that view.
We were quite disappointed when we walked across the dike to see how little
open water there was in the Mississippi. But, we knew that the water below
the dam would be open. There were fewer than ducks than I had hoped in the
water there, but the first group of three ducks I focused on with my
binoculars included the Harlequin. It is a first record for the Wabasha
CBC and apparently for the county.
My attempts to digiscope pictures of the duck with the camera in my
phone and my scope were unsuccessful. My (wife's) good camera was a mile
across the dike in my truck. It looks like I will have to document the
bird by describing it.
On Quigley Lake in Eagan, MN
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