Saturday morning, we got up and went out. We were out of the house in the truck with the kayaks and our "expedition" bag (the backpack along with every little thingy we could possibly need while we're out). We left around 9am, stopped at two regular bird spotting places (I-68 bridge and the marina) before coming to the Cheat Lake Park and paddling around for a bit. It was quite the experience with the water being what we could only manage to describe as "jiggly."
No ducks wanted to be seen. It turns out that to watch ducks, you have to watch the weather. We were on the near side of a cold front that was blowing through, which is shown by the grayness of it all. Despite the clouds, the foliage was incredible to behold.
Sunday afternoon, the cold front had passed but by the time we made it to the lake, with bicycles this time, so had the afternoon. We completely forgot about the sun setting sooner, and just beyond the point on the left, there was a raft of ducks that we couldn't get close enough to ID before the sun went down. The park closes at dusk and we've been chased out by the park manager before. When I got home and looked at the eBird.org logs, I saw that we had been right to go back out since the front had passed and the clouds had been replaced with a brilliant sun and crisp autumn air. It turns out that there were a great many ducks of all kinds (buffleheads, surf scoters, ring-neck ducks, etc) on the lake that day and they were seen by a great many people before continuing their southerly migration--while we were sitting in church.