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Posts tagged “common Goldeneyes

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


Red-Necked Grebe


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!


A Gallery of this Year’s “Firsts”

As I got out of my car two days ago I spotted my first Robin for the year. My camera was in the trunk so I quickly retrieved it and got a shot of this harbinger of spring – lucky for me it was thirsty and didn’t immediately fly away.

American Robin


Yesterday I went to a pond in the north east part of the city that photographer friends had told me  had a few varieties of birds. and there was no ice here.Here are some of my   “firsts” for this year. I was happy to see this pair of  Common Mergansers . I love how they move through the water  with strength and grace.

Common Mergansers


Also I spotted a pair of Buffleheads but got no decent shots of them. I did,however, see a single Common Loon.

Hermitage 111-2

I enjoyed seeing the display of a pair of Red-Necked Grebes. I spotted  six pair at this pond.

Display of Grebes

The one held this pose for some seconds then they mostly faced each other but a while later I caught the gesture of one with a mouthful of  grass -an invitation to nest?

i  want to have a Family with You


There was a pair of muskrats here, not at all shy. I noticed that when they would swim in close proximity to the geese, literally right in front of them, there was no reaction.



The muskrat, geese and gulls were all I could get close to. Although I found this very interesting, at least one other was bored by it all or lulled into sleepiness by the first warm day we have had.

Yawning Ring-Billed Gull