Common Merganser Dancing

While I was standing on the shore of the Elbow River at Sandy Beach Park this morning, a group of seven immature Common Mergansers floated past me and settled onto a large, flat rock for a bout of preening. Immature Common Mergansers resemble females but their facial markings are a bit different and their eyes are a lighter colour. The “dancing” bird was jumping onto … Continue reading Common Merganser Dancing

Mama Mallard and her six ducklings

I was taking pictures of yellow water lilies on the south end of Trout Lake, when I sensed something moving near my feet. Ducklings!!! I guess people have been feeding them since they weren’t very wary of my proximity. They let me stay within two or three feet as they swam along the shore and occasionally walked onto the sand. Continue reading Mama Mallard and her six ducklings

Ring-necked ducks

I’ve seen a few of these at the Jericho Beach pond. My guesstimate is 4 males and 2 females. Until this week, the females were too far away, in bright light or in shadows, and all my photographs were fuzzy silhouettes. This week, I saw little miss ring-necked duck swim under the pond’s wooden bridge and I aimed my camera at the other side. My photos aren’t crisp-tastic, but with a wee point-and-shoot, I think I did pretty well.
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Hooded merganser nest

I saw my first hooded mergansers in early February this year. An hour and a half before sunrise, I just couldn’t sleep so I walked west into the darkness, with no particular destination in mind. At Main St and Broadway, the coffee shops were still closed. Fifteen minutes before sunrise, I finished my coffee and muffin on Cambie and bounced down to False Creek. Rain … Continue reading Hooded merganser nest

A Eurasian among Americans

On a grey, drizzly, late afternoon in February, I stood on the western shore of Trout Lake, watching American Wigeons swim and whistle. The light wasn’t very good but one of the ducks seemed to have an unusual head colour. I stared; it got closer. It had a light patch on top of its head but the sides of its head were red not green. I took a picture. It was fuzz-tastic. When I went back to Trout Lake a week later, in the morning sun, the unusual red head swam a little closer to shore and I took a better picture.
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Last wisps of morning mist

I usually walk to Trout Lake in the afternoon. It is a different place just after sunrise. The golden light seems to have a slight green tinge, unlike the orange hued gold of late afternoon. When I stood by the lake a few days ago, shortly after sunset, the whistling sounds of the American Wigeons danced against my ears. Yesterday morning, I was entertained by … Continue reading Last wisps of morning mist

A sparrow and four duck species!

There was a song sparrow hopping along the boardwalk that leads to the lake. It was a little too far and a little too mobile for my camera to focus on it well. By chance, this picture also has Mallards (4 males and one female), American Wigeons (3 males one female), a Common Merganser (female) and a Ring-necked Duck (male). As I walked around the … Continue reading A sparrow and four duck species!

Three divers

Three bufflehead ducks, one male, two females, swimming near the shore at CRAB park. They swam west, diving under the water, one after the other, all three disappearing for a minute or two, then reappearing for about half a minute. I didn’t get a very clear view of the ducks, but I could identify them because Lukasz of Through Open Lens posted a lovely picture … Continue reading Three divers