[Ontbirds] Harlequin duck on Thames River in London

Dave Martin damartin at xplornet.com
Sun Mar 1 12:09:17 EST 2015


After not being seen [and not reported] for several days, the male 
Harlequin Duck on the Thames River in London was reported twice on Feb 
28 to eBird with accompanying photos. See the links to the photos below.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/126304632@N05/16489996820

https://www.flickr.com/photos/131645315@N07/16056064413


There is an interesting and changing mix of up to 12 species of 
waterfowl on the Thames River at Springbank and Greenway parks in 
London. The most recent additions were 4 White-winged Scoters on Feb 27 
and a pair of Long-tailed Ducks about a week ago. A couple of weeks ago 
2 Horned Grebes and 1 Red-necked Grebe were reported almost daily but 
not recently. Others include all 3 merganser species, lots of Common 
Goldeneye and one to a few each of Redhead, Canvasback, Greater Scaup, 
Bufflehead, Northern Pintail and Gadwall not to mention 100s of 
Mallards, Black Ducks and Canada Geese.

Where to search and directions
A paved walking, jogging, biking trail runs close to the river through 
Springbank and Greenway Parks. The trail is called the Terry Fox Trail 
east of the Wonderland Road bridge [over the Thames] and the Maurice 
Chapman Trail west of that bridge. The ducks are strung out along about 
10 kms of river from Springbank in the west to Greenway in the east. 
There are lots of nooks and crannies where ducks can hide. Luckily, 
there are various parking areas in both parks. Both parks will come up 
up if you Google them.

The Harlequin has been seen at both parks. For a few evenings two weeks 
ago it was seen at dusk near the outlet at the Greenway water sewage 
treatment plant. It has also been recorded a few times during the day at 
the old yellow-brick Pumphouse a couple of 100 metres east / upstream 
from the famous Story Book Gardens in Springbank park. There is a 
parking lot for Story Book very close to the riverside trail and 
washrooms at the pumphouse. There is a set of shallow rapids just 
downstream from the pumphouse where the Harlequin has been seen with 
goldeneyes

 From the parking lot at Story Book Gardens in Springbank park you can 
also walk west / downstream a few 100 metres to Springbank Dam where 
lots of birds can be found, including the Harlequin a couple of times.

In short, the Harlequin tends to hang around with Common Goldeneyes, 
although not exclusively] and has been seen almost anywhere along the 
river but is known to frequent the area close to Springbank dam and the 
old pump house in Springbank and the warm water outlet at Greenway.

PS This is only the second record ever for Middlesex County, not 
surprisingly given its inland location. The previous record on Dec 1, 
1968, was at an almost inaccessible location and was not seen by other 
birders.

Good luck
Dave Martin
Harrietsville, ON








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