Monday, November 07, 2005

The Luck of the Duck, or Serendipitous Birding

Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area, Kingston, Ontario

When I headed over to the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation area this morning I had pretty much resigned myself to a day of macro photography. I still drag the spotting scope around because you never know... My last couple of outings yielded no birds of any real interest and its late in the season so I wasn't expecting much at our local Creek. What a surprise when, as soon as I got out of the van and walked to the water, I saw a pair of Osprey floating on the 35 kph winds and making full use of the whole sky for their aerobatics. I followed one with my eyes as it dove into the water. It was then that I saw the four Hooded Mergansers (a new addition to my list). I was able to snap a few pictures before they drifted out of range. I went on to discover several large rafts of ducks, like the one above. There were smaller gatherings here and there. At the end of the day I had added three new species of duck to my list. I try to be prepared for such serendipity. I always carry my camera, I have the spotting scope and Sibleys, I carry a notepad and a ruler and pocket knife (in case of fungi), and a snack in case of starvation due to a refusal to come in out of the weather for proper meals. The natural world is so full of surprises.

Mixed Company

This would have been a better picture if I wasn't limited to digiscoping. Two Great Blue Heron flew into the this gathering of Canada Geese. They looked so beautiful with blue wings outstretched and legs reaching for a landing.

Ring-necked Ducks

I've seen these ducks before but forgot to add them to my life list until today.

Hooded Merganser


Today was just the warmup. Tommorow I hit Presquile!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Kingfisher,
Great story. It this kind of vicarious adventure that makes a day without a bird much better. We were on the other side of the lake near Rochester having fun too.
Jon and Deb
The Woodburg Birders