I made two northern forays this winter to Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. This vast holding is a treasure trove of cold weather goodies, and I was there to see beasts like the American marten, along with boreal birds that included both crossbills, gray jay, spruce grouse, and more. All in a striking wintry landscape. On the second trip, Debbie DiCarlo and I were scouting locations and details for potential future photo tours. We know it would make for a fantastic location, and could guarantee lots of fascinating photo subjects, but would anyone wish to deal with the cold? It was minus 24 F one morning, but normally temperatures are not that crisp, although Florida this place is not. Nonetheless, it's easy to dress for cold success and well worth the effort. For our current photo tours, CLICK HERE.
On both of these excursions, we made time to spend part of a day along the western side of Lake Ontario, which is enroute. There are numerous excellent lake access points from Hamilton to Toronto, and ducks abound. Lake Ontario almost never freezes due to a variety of factors, thus hardy fowl find it a reliable food-rich wintering ground. Of special interest to me are the scads of overwintering long-tailed ducks (formerly known as "oldsquaw"). The eastern waters of Ohio's section of Lake Erie are less than a hundred miles to the west, yet this duck is a rarity with us. But not so on Lake Ontario, where they occur by the thousands in winter.
Midwinter birder/photographer visitors to Lake Ontario will likely have to deal with very frosty temperatures, but it's worth it for the duck show, and photographic opportunities.