Birding at a Lake in the City
I like going to this lake in the city because there are Red-necked Grebes here, but today there were a few surprises. The lake has a walkway around it and houses surround this, with a lot of the people putting up birdhouses and feeders in their yards which makes this a bird-friendly zone. It was a lovely day sunny and cloudy, but quite the glare off the water.
Another photographer and birder alerted me to this fledged magpie which is the first that I have seen. I think the term begins with “L”.
I decided to walk around this small lake and saw many sights and many feathered families.
Saw some brief displays, with the pair calling loudly , coming together and stretching their necks up with crests raised then swimming away.
At one curve in the lake a pelican circled and landed. No time to check my settings, i tried panning as it landed.
it happened too quick , there was nothing I could do about the sign but keep following.
Happy about that, a short way further along the path I saw a large bird coming into view. Not id-ing it yet, I tried to focus on it.
A great Blue heron! What a treat! It landed near the pelican and stayed to fish.
The damsel flies were prolific so got my first shot of the season.
She is a beautiful blue. Speaking of blue, there were many blue ribbons on posts all around the lake , paying tribute to fallen officer Const Daniel Woodall. His funeral is tomorrow, so I will be present at the procession.
Long Shots of the first Arrivals I have seen this Year
Went for a drive to three locations today, two in the city and one at a provincial park to see what may be arriving.It was a pleasant surprise. I did not get a shot, but rather a quick glimpse of a small group, maybe a dozen, of white birds with black wings, they may have been snow geese. (I was driving).These sightings made for a great day and it was hot and sunny to boot.Some of these photos are not the first I have seen this year, i.e. Ring-billed Gull and Canada Geese
unmistakable pose of a displaying male Goldeneye
A Pair of Northern Shovellers (sorry I couldn’t get the female in the photo)
Red-necked Grebes, Grackle, Red-wing Blackbird and Canada Goose
Saw a few birds here at this man-made lake in northern Edmonton.
Resting Female Mallard
Resting Male Mallard
Nesting Goose-unfortunately I saw broken eggs on the rocks and a crow-could they be her eggs?
Displaying Red-Wing Blackbird
A Younger Red-winged Blackbird? Singing his heart out but not the colour of an adult.
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!