I was up near Derby Hill Hawk Watch this week and decided to run up to see if the NW wind would bring a good flight of ducks or maybe something rare like a jaeger. I didn’t spot anything crazy like that but there were good numbers of Red-breasted Mergansers in small flocks offshore as well as a nice mix of other ducks.
Derby Hill gives a nice elevated view of Lake Ontario which is suited for lake watching as you can see far out onto the lake and watch distant birds fly past you along the lake shore. Most of the birds were pretty far out but in the few hours I was there I got good at picking out distant flocks of mergansers and long-tailed ducks flying low along the waves. Highlights for me were 2 Black Scoters, 26 White-winged Scoters and 84 Long-tailed Ducks.
Below are two videos to give you an idea of what you see when you are lake watching- distant ducks on the water and small flocks of birds skimming low over the surface. All video was taken with my phone through my scope. Be sure to watch the videos in full screen and select 720p (HD) so you can actually see the birds!