Things are changing dramatically at the lake with the arrival of autumn. It’s to be expected, but always makes me a little sad. The Little Green Herons are already gone, most of the Wood Ducks have left to start their journey south, and I’ve seen a few species on a brief migration pit stop. The bright side is that I’ll get to see several types of waterfowl I don’t normally get to photograph. Last winter into spring there were Hooded Mergansers, Redhead Ducks, Northern Shovelers, Lesser Scaups, Buffleheads, and several others that at least made a brief visit with some staying around for a few weeks.
This post is a little long, but it was a good day at the lake yesterday!
The remaining pair of Wood Ducks decided to pay me a visit in exchange for a little corn.
The previous shot isn’t a great one, but I got a kick out of the Mallard action in the front!
The Great Blue Heron, a regular at the lake these days, arrived late in the afternoon for a bit of fishing, and to attempt to evade the strange looking thing with the black box. It’s a game, but curiosity is starting to get the better of him.
I figured that would be the last of him for the day, but I was wrong. He came back after the noise stopped to taunt me some more.
The heron didn’t actually catch a fish this time. Some moronic fisherman decided it would be fun to catch several, let them die, then toss them into the water & along the shore. There were at least 10 dead fish all along the shoreline that were apparently too small to keep. At least one of them ended up as dinner.
One of the highlights of the evening is feeding cracked corn to the swans and mallards. Fortunately for me, this fascinates the heron. He’s learned what’s coming and while I went to the car to get the corn, he relocated so he had a front row position for the show. Sorry I missed those flight shots, though!
He stayed around, fishing and watching, for about 45 minutes. He left when some residents came by on their evening walk. It touched me a little that he was so comfortable around me, but would leave when others he didn’t know came within 50′. These birds are incredibly smart! Let’s face it: Most birds are if you just give them a chance to prove it. Well, maybe not the Canada Geese. 😉
One of my favorite things about fall is the arrival of the Pied Billed Grebes and the American Coots. The Coots have yet to show, but the Grebes are back.
The Mute Swan family, meanwhile, is doing just fine. The not-so-little one (aka: Peeper) should be getting his first flying lessons any day now. I missed them last year because of my work schedule, so I’m hoping I get to see at least a couple of the lessons this year.
There isn’t a lot of autumn color around the lake, but what there is makes some beautiful reflections on the water. (The first shot here isn’t great, but how can you not appreciate a good goose photobomb?)
I found one milkweed plant that was preparing its faeries for flight. Did anyone else call these seed puffs “faeries” when they were kids, or did I just grow up in a strange area?
To put an end to this rather long post, a Mallard gave me a beautiful pose for the last shot of the day.
Now that my classes are over (I passed!), I hope to post a little more often. As a good friend pointed out, blogging is an excellent way to keep a record of what happens at the lake. He’s right, and I need to be doing this more often.
Thanks for taking a walk with me!