Each year the Harlequin Duck males show up on our backyard beach in the second week of April after being gone for the winter. I know this because I’ve noted it in our wildlife journal for the past seven years. This young drake didn’t let me down. He dropped in right on schedule.
I’m not sure where they go when they leave us for the season, but it must be a long way, because when he arrived he spent the whole afternoon on this rock. When I took a stroll around the yard just before dark, he was still roosting. Usually they spook easily, but he held his ground and gave no notice. He was hunkered down the same way until it was too dark to see him. Presumably he remembers our yard was a peaceful safe place last year, and he has settled in for the night–a rest after his journey.