Ducks of All Sorts

I’m off to Colonel Sam Smith Park with my friend Nigel. It’s the middle of January and we are hoping to find something to photograph. We’re anticipating seeing some ducks and lo and behold we find – ducks.

Gadwell Playing in the Waves

Gadwall Playing in the Waves

This Gadwall duck is playing in the waves at the shoreline before swimming as far from us as possible. I guess our long lenses are intimidating. Interesting fact about the Gadwall is that they often snatch food from diving ducks as they surface. They’re the pirates of the lake. 

Rocky Shoreline

Rocky Shoreline

I notice that the ducks seem to congregate along the shoreline. I guess the shallows are warmer. Do ducks even feel the cold? I wonder sometimes as I’ve seen them stand on ice for long periods and they seem to enjoy just barely unfrozen water all winter. How? And can you give that superpower to me?

Male Long Tail Duck

Male Long Tail Duck

This long-tailed duck is one of many enjoying a paddle around the shoreline. He has an impressive tail which I assume is for mating purposes but what’s interesting to note is his plumage during winter The males have two mirror-image plumages: in summer mostly black with a white face patch; in winter mostly white with rich brown, black, and gray on the face. I’ve only ever seen the winter plumage as they are from the high arctic and they are there for the summer and my travels don’t take me that far.

After our fill of the ducks we head home to warm up and plan our next outing.

Over Friendly Birds

Nigel and I headed to Humber Bay park with a special treat for our little feathered friends. Bringing along bird seed will usually guarantee that you will see some sort of bird. Sometimes they are the kind you don’t necessarily want hanging around. 

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

This Canada goose was terribly demanding. It squawked at us if we didn’t immediately hand over some seed. There were also a pair of mallards that were shovelling the food down. Honestly, some birds!

In the nearby pond some Gadwells were feeding on some algae. One got close enough for me to get a good shot. So even though some songbirds came by it was mostly the ducks and geese that pushed and shoved their way to the seed.

Gadwell

Gadwell

From Humber Bay we decided to make our way to Rattray Marsh in Mississauga and see if we could find some different birds. Turns out we were unable to find any different birds within lens range but we did spot a pair of mallards.

Female Mallard

Female Mallard

This female just stood and stared at us while her mate same quickly away. I guess she knew we weren’t much of a threat.