Here in Ontario, we have to settle for one at a time for now. Trouble is, it is not always close and in bright sunshine for good photographs. Yesterday, it wasn't sunny, but after an hour wait, the tufted one did, ever so slowly, drift close enough to those of us who waited in the cold long enough, to see even without binoculars. I had heard that the duck was being seen at Windermere basin, just a bit west of Burlington Ship Yards, where I saw it last week, so I headed over, only to find out it was quite distant, under a bridge, but with patience was easy to find in a scope.
When I arrived, there were at least 30 people all lined up on the viewing platform, many with scopes, some just with binoculars or cameras, but all excited to the bird, which, it turned out, not every birder in Southern Ontario had seen, particularly for the 2018 listing year. I went, well, because I am eBird-ing every day this year and also need to get at least one photo for an App I am using to document the year, called 1 Second Every Day: www.1se.co It's a fun way to review the year in just a few minutes, and will be a help with my failing memory too.
As for the Tufted Duck, it eventually floated within about 30 feet of the dozen or so of us who remained and we all enjoyed watching and photographing the bird, until some of us slowly drifted off too, as the duck eventually did, to warm up with hot chocolate or soup for lunch.
Beginning Wednesday, I will not have to worry about the cold, as I will begin my annual 5-week stint in Florida for Spring Training. Last year it was cut short because of my back and I sat out the 2017 baseball season recovering from two spinal surgeries. I hope this year goes better for both the Blue Jays and myself. If I remain healthy, I will get to travel around North America the way I did during my 2012 Big year, so have the chance to get to a lot of birding habitats.
Here, now, my some of my Tufted Duck photos from yesterday:
If you look carefully you can see it somewhere in this photo. I did find it in my scope:
After a time, it slowly drifted on its own closer to the viewing platform:
A female scaup ventured too close and he was not happy, his tuft getting quite ruffled in the process:
Once he got further away, his tuft seemed to relax:
Finally, a very close view, where the tuft, white sides and black back, along with the red eye were quite visible: