Saturday 6 December 2014

Birds on the Big Rideau – hundreds of them!

Thursday, Dec. 4th

Thursday, coming home from my client's house, I spotted some birds on the lake.
Mergansers, Canada Geese, Seagulls, Terns, methinks. What an amazing sight! The Mergansers are wonderful with their red hair! I used to watch them when we lived beside a lake, swimming on open water, beside lake ice. I've made a bird calendar for our regular people at the house: the mail women,

They all took off upon my arrival. There were some fun shots where they are running to take off. Our wetland ducks, like the wood duck, and black ducks, can take off simply rising upward.

Friday, Dec. 5th

I talked hubby into going for a bird sighting drive. I thought I'd go back to the furthest part of the lake, since they all scampered away that way and I really only managed a few great shots.
But look at the difference in the lake water. It's suddenly flipped over to ice. There were many fewer birds. The water under the bridge was flowing quickly and did not freeze. This is the only open space. What a different a day makes! I did some research about the temperature of lakes in winter. It stays at 4˚ C. deep under the ice. Undaunted, we went up to the narrows at Rideau Ferry. There was open water, as it rushes under the bridge. There were a few birds left.

Down in the water there was some drama. A gull seemed to be having problems taking off, or else it was worrying something in the water. Another gull came by to bother it, so I think it is the former, rather than the latter.

"What's with him?!"
There were a couple of gulls standing on the ice, presumably laughing at or mocking them. Lots of Mergansers were out and about, too.
Must be cold standing on the ice!

Big crowd!

Lonely boathouse, closed for the season

Just a bit of snow, but subzero termperatures

Lots of mergansers.

Then, I thought we could look for those mysterious Snowy owls that the entire birding community has been claiming has irrupted into central, south and southeastern Ontario. I am still of the opinion that it is a huge conspiracy!!!
Nary an owl.
Critters #51


Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

Do you know the song" What a difference a day makes? You post reminded me of it as that is what you experienced on the lake. However you still got a lot of birds to show us. Have a lovely weekend.

eileeninmd said...

I just love the Mergansers with their red"do" Wonderful shots of the ducks, I guess they enjoy the icy waters.. The Snowy owls are showing up around Delaware and Maryland too. Thanks so much for linking up today. Have a happy weekend!

TexWisGirl said...

the mergansers are really neat!

DeniseinVA said...

Great series Jen and a very enjoyable post!

Nancy J said...

Lovely photos, and from each side, so different, You do live in a wonderful part of the world, guess we do too, but I look at it with eyes accustomed to our own beauty down here. Have a fun Sunday,,Jean.

Unknown said...

Lovely photos! The lakes will be covered in ice quite suddenly and the birds will have to leave.

Adam Jones said...

Wonderful pictures.

William Kendall said...

Quite a big difference a day makes! Beautiful shots!

Red said...

Mergansers put on a great show when they take off. They taxi for a long way down the runway. Sometimes one lake is one of the few with open water and everybody gathers there.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Oh these are tremendous shots! ...but brrrrrrr..... YAM xx

The Furry Gnome said...

Wonderful pix of the mergansers running across the water!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous scenes of the birds!

Powell River Books said...

The snow geese are down in the field of Skagit for the winter. They are pretty to see. - Margy