Thursday, March 21, 2013

For Wild Bird Wednesday

I'm doing a huge catch-up day in hopes that I can do (short!) daily posts.  This one will just show some of the birds I saw before the actual catch-up posts begin.  I guess you could call it the catch-up before the catch-up.  

The herons are back!  
This is the 13th year that a colony of Blue Herons has taken up residence by the tennis courts in Stanley Park.  You can read the final update for 2012 at the Stanley Park web site, if you are interested.  My very first post ever was inspired by that phenomena.    I discovered them in August of 2008 so this will be my sixth year to watch them.  They suffer eagle attacks and racoon invasions (though the metal sheets around the  base of the trees are helping with that) and each year, I think it may be the last to see them at that location. But, on March 7th I caught my first sight of a few herons in the nests (they had probably arrived two or three days before that) and by March 18th, a great many nests were occupied.  Here, just two photos from March 7th. 

Plump Chickadee
 Goose Disagreement
Wish I could have managed to get this in focus but it the argument broke out all of a sudden.  The one on the right tried to interfere with a couple that were getting along just fine. Maybe it wanted to steal a mate, or maybe it was a young one from last year?  No idea.
After the scuffle (lots of squawking and flapping) the original pair settled on a rock.  The one behind had quite a story to tell.  
"I just don't believe the nerve of..."
"Aw.  It's okay.  Give me a little neck scratch and forget all about your worries."
I guess the aperture was too large.  I would have loved to get the two of them in focus here but still love the detail in the wing.
Mystery Goose
I've never seen one like this in Lost Lagoon before.  It was alone.
The Canada Geese came up to take a look, but then left it alone.
My guesses are White Fronted or a young snow goose, but neither feels right.
Can anyone help me identify it?

Ring-necked Ducks in the pond - female on the right
Common Merganser - female - Bad Hair Day
Red-winged Blackbird
on the bridge railing.
Same Ring-necked pair - the male..
and the female.  
It's not really possible to see the rings.  Will try for next time :)

A Walk to Lost Lagoon
A female Barrow's Goldeneye spiffing herself up..
to make herself presentable for her dapper boyfriend.  (I think that's him.)

Nice that keeping clean was important to both of them.
The noon-time light was a bit strange.  I think this is the male here drying his wings. 
Off they go, clean and happy to have the worry of selecting a mate over for another year.
Lesser Scaup
One of the few ways to distinguish a "Lesser" from a "Greater" is the more peaked crown (such as I think I see here).  This one was in the pond at Lost Lagoon.
American Coot
I missed the shot I really wanted of it running across the path and hopping into the pond.  They are truly comical to watch.
Common Merganser - Female, looking especially beautiful.
Brown Creeper
I hope I identified this one correctly. 
I've only seen one other one since I began bird watching, though I know they're around.
A Blue Heron working hard to calm its catch (poor little fish).  
Black Jack
Okay, not a bird but Black Jack just wanted to say..
"Here's looking at you." 
"Have a good week.  Check out Wild Bird Wednesday to see more birds."


  1. oh, you got some handsome shots! love the ringneck drake! so wonderful! glad you have the heron rookery to watch! jealous, here.

  2. Great selection of birds and photos Carol! Love the Ring-necked Duck's especially, a real rarity in the U.K. The unusual goose looks like a cross-breed to me, but I am no expert!
    Thanks for stopping by on my blog and the kind comment.
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

  3. Good to hear from you Carol. I love those shots of the nesting herons.

  4. haha looks like the flash woke him up. Not sure what that goose would be never saw one like that before, great shots too.

  5. Lol … Black Jack did remind me of a scene in a movie with Borgart and Bacall. Nice finish to a great series of bird photo catch-ups prior to the catch-up that is coming up. I find the chickadee with its disheveled chest feathers somehow endearing. :)

  6. Hi there - great set of pictures - I like the reflection of the ducks.

    Lucky to have the herons so close.

    Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW.

    Stewart M - Melbourne

  7. Carol these photos are simply amazing! And what is more amazing to me is your passion for these creatures.
    Great final shots of Blackjack! Looks like she'saying....'Well THAT was a long photo-shoot! Time for a rest.'