Officials have announced that the unusually cold weather may have prematurely ended duck-watching at Montezuma this year.
But I suspect it has more to do with the induced drought. Draining the pools over the summer (2019) was done with good intentions and fairly good results. The lush grasses that re-grew on the marsh beds crowded out the unwanted plant life and promised a veritable oasis to lure hundreds of ducks and other waterfowl to stop for a rest and a hearty meal before resuming their travel on the Atlantic flyway.
But refilling the pools, begun in September, has so far produced only low water levels, so low that the recent cold wave froze them over. . .and the ducks are gone. It definitely, as one reporter said, puts a crimp on bird-watching at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.
You can read about it here: https://www.newyorkupstate.com/outdoors/2019/11/wintry-weather-puts-crimp-on-bird-watching-at-montezuma-national-wildlife-refuge.html.
Or, you can check out nearby Cayuga Lake, West Shore Trail, or beaver pond at Sterling Nature Center where the water (not ice) entices hungry, travel-weary ducks. Irondequoit Bay is another popular avian pit stop — last time I was there it was dotted with swans as well as ducks, geese, and gulls.
All for the watching, though. They are much prettier in real life than they are in a roasting pan, surrounded by onions and potatoes.