Harlequin Duck, Histrionicus histrionicus

Harlequin Ducks, pair, 6/3/11,
              Kougarok River, north of Nome, AK
Harlequin Ducks nest along fast-flowing streams, and the river by the Kougarok Road heading north from Nome fits that description. They are also rarely seen and easily spooked, so I and my three photographer companions were glad to see these six ducks swim rapidly by us down the river, but resigned to the fact that if we hadn't been ready with our cameras when they came into view, we'd have to make do with memories. So we were delighted and stunned when after the ducks disappeared around a bend downstream, we saw them swimming back up against the current and into our view! We took advantage and all got pictures, in my case not the best ones, but I'm happy to have them.

Harlequin Ducks

Harlequin Ducks, three pairs, 6/3/11,
              Kougarok River, north of Nome, AK