27 October 2014
This morning I visited four local wetlands which I check on a regular basis, to see which species of birds are still frequenting them, and whether there might be any additions, especially of waterfowl.
Everything was pretty much routine, but, as always it was indeed pleasant to observe the dwindling number of bird species still there.
It seems that if one looks closely there is always a Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias lurking somewhere in the background.
Mallards Anas platyrynchos are common at any time of the year but it is in the fall when they tend to congregate in greater numbers in small wetlands, which characterizes the four that I visited. This is truly a handsome species, overlooked for the most part because of it familiarity, but if it were rare it would evoke shrieks of admiration.
Pied-billed Grebes Podiceps auritus are found primarily on larger bodies of water, and I was surprised to find this one in the tiny wetland near to Creekside Church.
It was concentrating its dives in an area having fairly dense surface vegetation and I think it knew far better than I that such a habitat would provide shelter and cover for fish.
This was soon proven to be true when it emerged with a fish that would appear too large for it to swallow. But never underestimate the gullet of a fish-eating bird!
It swam off into the reeds with its catch, possibly to hide from marauding gulls and crows who would no doubt attempt to pirate the grebe's catch.
These two Canada Geese were just resting together.
Most of the autumn leaves have now fallen from the trees and the wetland landscape is looking a lot more open, and a little drabber too.
Just as I was about to leave to return home for lunch this American Robin Turdus migratorius landed in a snag, as though to bid me farewell.
À la prochaine, mes amis!