Spring-When It Changes, the Changes are Big
My winter boots are still on the carpet by the door. I used my winter coat just a week ago. I wrote about the ice on my most frequented pond last week.It looked dismal then but now it looks absolutely fabulous! I got away with jeans and a t-shirt yesterday and it was HOT-definitely shorts weather. It is as if we have moved right into summer but after a delay Spring has arrived in Alberta, with the wooden stems on the bushes turning bright red and yellow and the buds are just starting to open. I can smell the earth and the woods and the smoke from the barbeques.
The pond is alive and well with the sight and sound of Canada geese, Lesser Scaups, Common Goldeneyes, Mallards, a Muskrat, Red-necked Grebe, American Wigeons and a couple of young women in bikinis.
Sorry, no bikinis here, just the birds. Oh, I am so in my element! I found ducks and geese right at the waters edge nesting, with the male a short distance away guarding the female.I was impressed with the camouflage, was very close before I saw them until the gander or drake appoached me and quacked or hissed and I backed off , respectfully. The geese were staking out their territory and all were displaying breeding behaviour, a few nesting on the two islands but a couple right beside the walking path.
Here are some shots that I got. Sometimes the light was harsh and I tried to get partially in the shade or with the sun behind me.First the Lesser male and female Scaups. Local naturalists John Acorn and Chris Fisher, in the field guide “Birds of Alberta” describe the male scaup as looking” like an oreo cookie, black at both ends with white in the middle.”
Male Lesser Scaup
Female Lesser Scaup
Nicely -camouflaged Female Mallard Duck
Resting but attentive male Mallard
Male Common Goldeneye Rising in the water
Female Goldeneye Take-Off
Talking Female Mallard
A Canadian Goose Chase
American Crows are Back
Male American Wigeon (did not see any females)
So nice to have Spring come back. I am curious to see when the babies will hatch this year and when I will see the first warblers.Happy shooting, everyone!
I know what you mean about being in your element. I too feel something special when photographing in such a place. You get a lot of variety of ducks. We are getting some passing through Niagara, but not near as many different varieties. Wonderful shots.
May 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm
Thank you for your comments. Yes, I was in heaven. Speaking of Niagara. loved seeing the falls from your viewpoint and the boats.I took a ride in “Maid of the Mist years ago when I was a kid.I will keep my eyes open for the warblers and others that should pass through or stay in a couple of weeks..
May 6, 2013 at 4:45 pm
What a nice series of bird photos! I especially liked the Female Lesser Scaup and the Red-Necked Grebe (I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of these). I’m glad that spring (or summer!) finally arrived in Alberta. We also were in shirt sleeves this past weekend. It was wonderful.
May 6, 2013 at 9:17 pm
It is nice. I found it hard to deal with the 30 degree weather ( after being in boots and coat not too long ago
May 7, 2013 at 11:44 am
Super photos Jane…and such a wide variety of waterfowl on you pond. That is just way cool !!!
May 9, 2013 at 7:19 am
Thanks David. The only one that may move on is the grebe, but I will wait and see.
May 9, 2013 at 9:34 am
and even one or two Red-necked grebes that are breeding-hope they stay!
May 13, 2013 at 1:57 pm