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Today, the first day of 2017, I went to the Barnegat Lighthouse jetty to find Harlequin ducks. For years, they have chosen that place as their favorite Winter playground because the current is swift along the jetty rocks, and also because there must be a lot of mollusks and crustaceans for them to eat.

Today the sun was finally shining bright after a long string of gloomy days. The Harlequin were out in force, at least a dozen of them, swimming, diving, and the males trying to pair off with several females. They were so busy that they did not mind several photographers hovering nearby taking their pictures. I was able to come quite close to them without scaring them away.

Male Harlequin at Barnegat Lighthouse jetty.

Male Harlequin at Barnegat Lighthouse jetty.

Male Harlequin.

Male Harlequin.

Male Harlequins.

Male Harlequins.

Male Harlequin beginning dive for food.

Male Harlequin beginning dive for food.

Two male Harlequins diving.

Two male Harlequins diving.

Harlequins. The female is the second duck from the right.

Harlequins. The female is the second duck from the right.

Male Harlequins deciding on which female to court. The two females are at right of picture.

Male Harlequins deciding on which female to court. The two females are at right of picture.

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