Harlequin ducks with their distinctive facial markings and colors are fairly uncommon and have a cult like following among birders and photographers. These ducks like swift currents near rocky shores where they can dive for food.
Yesterday at the Barnegat Light jetty, the current was swift. Two members of the Bergen County Audubon Society in New Jersey pointed me to a place on the jetty where they had seen a Harlequin duck. Following their advice I was able to photograph a Harlequin from much closer than in previous years.
There were several other Harlequins in the area, but out of my camera range. In previous years, these ducks don’t start appearing until mid to late December, so they are early this year.