Today I, with my friend Nigel, head out to Humber Bay park in search of…you guessed it…ducks. Beause what else are you going to find in the middle of February when there is no snow?
Going later in the day (which isn’t that late this time of year) gave us this beautiful golden light that reflected off our subjects. There were lots of mallards, but then again, when aren’t there lots of mallards? As we explored the park we came across something unusual none of the mallard groups – a white mallard.
It’s not an albino. Its eyes, beak and feet are the same as the other mallards. Plus those other mallards seemed to have no issue with this weirdly coloured duck in their midst. So what’s up with its white feathers? Is it a spirit mallard, like the spirit bears from BC? I’m so curious to find out more.
I found out that it isn’t that uncommon for a mallard to be white due to Leucism. Leucism is the partial loss of pigmentation that can result in white, patchy or pale pigments. We see this in nature more than we realize – a white tiger, a white snake and, of course, the well known spirit bears from the west coast.
So, essentially our white duck is a mallard in all respects except its white colouring.
There was one other common bird hanging around – the swan. You have to watch out for swans. They can be one mean bird if they don’t like you and yet there they are paddling away, looking all graceful and stuff. I see you swan, being all handsome and unassuming, trying to pretend you’re not coming up with some evil plan to take over the world. lol
As always it was a great evening out exploring the park and getting some unexpected photos and some fun close-ups.
Another bike ride down the Humber Recreational Trail today had me going a little further than usual and I decided to stop at a pond off the Humber River to get in some picture-taking.
It was an overcast day and things were looking blah but this closeup of the reeds turned out great!
With such a blah looking sky I decided to convert this photo as a black and white. It comes across much better. I do have to admit that it’s not the sharpest photograph but I really like the look of it so I decided to share it anyway. Enjoy!
Today was the day of the duck on the Humber Recreational Trail. I biked out to the path to my favourite birding spot at Esther Lorrie Park located right on the trail. It’s always the place to find ducks. And there were ducks aplenty today.
This juvenile duck was just getting his colouring which made for a fascinating pattern on his head.
It wasn’t long before the ladies waddled their way along the grass and into the water to find a good “napping” spot as they float on the river. A peaceful, sunny day on the river. I could almost take a nap here myself.
Its a week later and I’m back on my bike, riding along the Humber River looking for that little Wood Duck I saw last week. As I looked in the regular “duck” spots all I found were the usual suspects.
The beautiful emerald head of the mallard swimming along the river, a female red winged blackbird scurrying along the riverbank and few more mallards hanging out on the shoreline in the hopes of a thrown treat. Not a huge variety of birds but enough to practice my bird skills.
I’ve never really noticed this before but the year old male ducks look a little patchy as they finally get their adult colouring.
Although I didn’t find the Wood Duck it was still a fun morning watching the mallards and blackbirds go about their business. Neither were too worried about us land animals.