Sunday, February 15, 2015

Saturday's Critters at the Lake

There were lots and lots of geese at the lake when I went down a couple of days ago. The honking was amazing with such a large gathering. Canada Geese, Lesser Canada Geese, Mute Swans, Trumpeter Swans and a smattering of ducks. It was quite a party!

Lots of white bums up as the mute swans were feeding
I guess if you're going to brave the cold temperatures, you'll want to complain good and loud to the silly goose beside you!

"My bum is so cold I can't even feel it"
"What bum?! I've had no feeling in my bum since December"

The Canada geese are such a rowdy bunch. 
Lots of noisy activity going on in the air, in the water and on the ice.
Wherever there were geese, there was noise.

It was difficult for them to sit still for any length of time.


It was fun to play with the exposure to make these not-so-colourful birds 
stand out in the snow and ice.

The trumpeter swans slowly drifted over to greet us ... looking for handouts. I don't normally see these swans in the summer. It's usually the mute swans. The trumpeters seem even more beautiful than the mute, with beautiful long elegant necks. All their movements were so graceful and pretty. I loved watching them, and they were keen to watch us as well looking for a snack.

A little family of two adults and one juvenile. Big paddle-wheel flippers working hard through the freezing waters. It was bitterly cold, and the poor things had icicles on their chests and coating their bills.

They didn't seem to mind the cold waters or the cold air. 
Lots of preening going on, and just gentle drifting on the waves.

And just look at the ruffles they wear ... gorgeous!

There were a few ducks on the water as well. They sort of got lost in the general mayhem, but occasionally one or two would break from their little groups and motor around on their own.  The mallards, of course, came over in a bunch looking for handouts. I don't normally feed these birds, and there are signs posted around not to feed the geese as they become far too annoying if you do. Also, everyone would love to see the geese migrate south come winter, but more and more often, they are wintering here.  The mallards looking nice and glossy. I loved how the males' heads flash from green to blue to purple suddenly in the sunshine.

They may be common, but they are quite striking.

There was also a small band of common golden eyes, and this chubby little guy was bravely fighting the icy waves away from his pals. He was fairly timid, and even though I was quite a distance away from him, he didn't stay above water very long, and then under he went to get away from the camera.

I can't identify the next pair of ducks. They were far away, and these are the best photos I could get of them as they swam even further away with their backs to me. Does anyone recognize them? I think they were a pair, but who knows. The closest I could find is a common merganser for the white male, because of his narrow beak, but if they're a pair, the female doesn't look like a common merganser.

Here's another duck that I couldn't find in my Eastern Birds book ...

I think it's a female lesser scaup, but the colouring of the cinnamon breast is so defined compared to the wings, that it looks different from my bird book. The white patch over it's bill looks right though. I would love if someone knew and could tell me for sure. I'm not very familiar with water birds, except for the very obvious.

And that's it folks! I know there were a lot of photos, but I hope you enjoyed them. I tried to convince a couple of family members to come with me to a little marsh today, but I couldn't convince anyone it would be fun. The cold temperatures are hanging on, and the wind chill is bitter. But I would so love to visit the marsh to see what's hanging around this winter.

Thanks for stopping by!


Linking up with Eileen's Saturday Critters


  1. The science of winter survival is amazing!
    Such beautiful birds.
    Jane x

  2. Thank you for sharing these stunning snaps! I wish the next time it isn't snowing I could take Piper to the pond - or anywhere, really - for a run - she is having a Very Boring Winter. It's not even just the cold (which is pretty darned cold), it's the depth of the snow. Piper is a tall girl, but she has to leap and leap and leap to get through the snow, even when she's just following me around on chores. And she WANTS to go back inside long before the chores are done. Actually, I can relate to that part.
    So, thanks for sharing your walk. I love watching ducks and herons in my nearby pondyswamp. And mallards - what could be more beautiful?

  3. Sublime photos, Wendy! It is all happening in your wintry neck of the woods isn't it. You and your camera have worked glorious magic.....yet again!!

  4. Nice shots of the swans and geese! Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

  5. Absolutely amazing. What a fun day that would be. All that beauty of creation. I laughed at the thought of the geese complaining. :-)

  6. I so enjoyed them Wendy! You know I love your wildlife photos! They are all so beautiful! I just find it crazy that they can withstand those temperatures! Just goes to show how amazing mother nature is! Wishing you a lovely week ahead! Nicole xoxo

  7. So many wonderful photos! Thanks for going to the trouble to share these.

  8. I love your post ! I really enjoyed it ! your pics are so amazing !!!! Thanks a lot for sharing ! Have a lovely day ...

  9. Gorgeous pictures and it just shows how well insulated waterfowl are! Love your Goldeneyes. :-)

  10. Wow what amazing photos! What a mix of seabirds and such interesting observations Wendy-love swans, so beautiful and mysterious. Have a lovely week!
    Alison xx

  11. Hello Wendy, a wonderful series of swans, ducks and geese.. The Trumpeter Swan is not common here, they are lovely. I would love to see the Goldeneye, it would be a newbie for me. And your ducks id's sound right on to me..Awesome post and photos! Thank you for linking up, have a happy day!

  12. People here in Pa are reporting seeing lots of flocks of geese, they must be coming or going from here. Love looking at the patterns of the feathers, great pictures! Phyllis

  13. Fantastic birds - and photos!! I was thinking though -- just as that poor goose mentioned it - they must have freezing cold bums and feet! I am glad that I am not a bird and can be in my nice warm and dry house! xx

  14. These are so gorgeous! The geese are my favorite, they remind me of a book I had as a child, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils Holgersson.

  15. super shots and descriptions of all the birds. I wish it were a sign that Spring is on the way, but stepping out the door this morning, I think not!!

    Gill from the Barrie area.

  16. Thank you for showing us the photo's Wendy, I really enjoyed looking at them. :) xx

  17. i have never seen ice with birds. i guess they must not think it is too too cool in there? i wonder? beautiful birds. i love the shots. have a nice week. thank you for stopping by. hope you are warm & cozy. we are having snow here in VA finally. making my little heart all happy happy!! ( :

  18. Wow, you got some really beautiful photos that day! There sure are lots of ducks and geese there. Wonderful shots! Pam

  19. Beautiful photos! I love the swans.

  20. Those are some gorgeous animals! I'm so jealous that you live in a place that you can see SWANS. I don't think I've ever seen a swan in person before, just in movies or in photos.


Thanks so much for leaving a comment, it's nice to know when you've stopped by! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...