Thursday, December 16, 2010

Milwaukee's Bradford Beach and North Point icing up

I went up to Bradford Beach and North Point yesterday afternoon and was surprised by how things were freezing up. There were several rafts of ducks thickly packed together in small patches of open water along the beach and North Point. I'm estimating maybe 6,000 birds total. Mostly Scaups, but with Buffleheads, Goldeneyes, etc.

Looks like there's ice away from shore, and the water near the shore has the consistency of a convenience store slushy drink. At one point I noticed a flock of distressed Mallards near the shore. The icy water was too thick to swim in, and too thin to stand on.

As I left in late afternoon, the patches of open water seemed to be getting smaller, and the rafts of ducks seemed more tightly packed.

Here are a few photos to give you a feel for the icy conditions:

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