Sunday, September 11, 2016

Recent Water Bird Sightings

I've been spending a lot of time at the Sackville Waterfowl Park.  It's a beautiful setting and a great place for me to get some exercise, but it also affords some great opportunities for photographs.  From the name of the park, you can tell that it's popular with water birds.  These are bird species that I don't see in my own yard, so I really enjoy having a place to go and observe them.

The belted kingfisher was an exciting bird for me - not something I see very often.  This is a female, as evidenced by the chestnut-coloured bands on the belly.  She was at quite a distance so the shots aren't great, but they'll do!

I enjoy seeing the mallard ducks, even though they are "ordinary" ducks.  They still make me smile.

I always laugh at their feeding poses, sticking their feathered bottoms up in the air.

Another duck that is prevalent at the park is the American Widgeon.  This is a female.

I often see the great crested cormorant at the park.  They are really large compared to a lot of the other birds.  At this time of year, they are not in their breeding plumage, but I look forward to seeing them in their finery next year.

I've already blogged about the lesser yellowlegs, but here's an extra picture in case you missed that blog.

The grebe is one of my favourite water birds because it dives into the water so quickly and you would never even know it had been there.  Suddenly, it will surface in a completely different spot.  I find them a bit tricky to photograph because they are such busy birds, but this one was more agreeable.  I believe this is the pied-billed grebe, but the bill takes on a less distinct appearance in the non-breeding season.  I like the way the water weeds are adorning the back of this one.

Here it is just about to dive again.  You can see how the point between the neck and body has gone underwater, and the body is tipped forward, in contrast to the picture above.  The grebe can dive for up to 30 seconds at a time, seeking out fish and crustaceans.

On one of my visits, I was lucky enough to see a great blue heron coming in to land.  I wasn't able to get great shots of it, but I was still fairly pleased with the results of my efforts.  The wingspan is quite remarkable.

Here the heron is coming in for the landing.

Such an elegant bird.  I liked this photograph because the purple loosestrife (nasty, invasive weed that it is) really looks lovely framing the grey-blue colour of the heron's plumage.

I'm hoping to see, and photograph, more water birds at the park as time goes on.

Sharing this post with The Bird D'Pot, Camera Critters, and Wild Bird Wednesday.


Denise inVA said...

This is a wonderful variety of birds and all your photos are superb. I have never seen a Belted Kingfisher so that would have been exciting for me. I never get tired of ducks, always a welcome sight as they never cease to make me smile. The blue background of the pond with the waterlilies is a fabulous backdrop and the reflections are wonderful. The 'bottoms up' pose when they are feeding is another smile bringer, they always look so comical. Don't believe I have seen an American Wigeon before either. I have seen the Cormorants but not sure which type they were, a lovely sight usually seen when on holiday. Sweet pic of the lesser yellow legs on the tuft of grass, and the Grebie and the Great Blue Heron would be another very welcome sight. A great time for birding on your walk, and thanks for taking us along :)

photodoug said...

Claire, your new lens is working well. Great Water Bird photos. Thanks for sharing.

Irma said...

What a wonderful series of photographs of the different species of birds
I feel really great Kingfisher, this species is not in the Netherlands, ours is blue in color.
Best regards, Irma

Phil Slade said...

That's a wonderful selection of species. It seems like your Belted Kingfisher is as shy as our Common Kingfisher - "don't come too close" The Pied-billed Grebe is similar to our Little Grebe, with the same feeding habits as you describe.

Stewart M said...

What a great set of pictures - I was working on some Kingfisher images, which will pop up on Wednesday!

Hope you can keep linking to WBW!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Breathtaking said...

Hello!:) Thank you for sharing so many beautiful bird images. The Belted Kingfisher is different to the ones I see here, and just as lovely as the blue ones I'm used to seeing,.. the only difference is, you, managed to take a photo!!:)) I'm still trying!:)

Anni said...

Extraordinary beauty today!! Wow...from the kingfisher to the cormorants. And LOVE the 'bottom's up' image. That always brings a smile to my face. Dunno why, but it does.

Thank you so much for adding your link this week at I'd Rather B Birdin'. I'm a bit behind visiting 'cause I just returned from a birdin' day trip.

NatureFootstep said...

impressive shots of the birs. And I love the kingfisher female :)

12Paws said...

Stunning! Your last shot--worthy of framing. Interesting thing about the purple loosestrife--dig it out of the swamp or ditch and plant in a high & dry spot in your garden and watch it behave perfectly. I have had one in the same spot in my garden for 13 yrs and it hasn't moved hardly an inch. The goose necked loosestrife is entirely another matter!