(Probably) Immature Wood Duck


Until I learn otherwise, I am saying that it is probably an immature female wood duck, as identified by +Mike Goodwin and seconded by +Stephen Thackeray – thanks a lot you two! I will change the title once we are 100% sure.

Another young bird photographed on the same overcast rainy day in Miner's Marsh in August. I thought it was a young mallard, but I see more clearly now that it probably isn't, as there seem to be no photographs of mallards with white stripes around the eyes and the base of the bill is not the right colour. There are many wrong things about it (not wrong, of course, just wrong for mallard) in my thinking, so I am stumped here. My bird app has not come up with an answer. Can you?

If you can identify it I will amend the title with the species name and credit you with the identification! (Now there's incentive for you! ­čśë – it can be a real claim to fame. LOL)

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#hqspbirds +HQSP Birds curated by +Suzi Harr +Mark Rayner +Andy Brown
#waterbirdwednesday +Water Bird Wednesday by +Margaret Tompkins
#webbywednesday +WebbyWednesday by +Celeste Odono
#wildlifewednesday by +Mike Spinak +Morkel Erasmus


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Immature Pied-Billed Grebe


I walked around the Kentville Miner's Marsh area a few weeks ago, on a dull day and managed to see quite a number of wildfowl, many of which were too far away to get decent photographs especially as the light was poor and it was windy. This youngster was swimming and diving not too far from the shore and I got several of him. I thought at the time that when he went underwater it was almost as if he didn't so much dive as simply submerge out of sight. Almost as if he sank underwater.

He was a little hard for me to identify and even another (much better) bird photographer didn't have any idea what he might be, looking at my photographs. I was a little disheartened (feeling that my images had not done the bird justice) until I found it on my bird identification app and the images of it were no better than this one. He looks very odd, quite like a clown as the article below says.

Today I found this information about the species, which is the second smallest grebe found in North America. http://ecobirder.blogspot.ca/2010/11/adventures-of-clown-duck.html

Are you not able to comment on Google+ because you don't belong? Would you prefer to comment on my blog? It's right here with all my G+ posts on it: https://www.elliekennard.ca .

#hqspbirds +HQSP Birds curated by +Suzi Harr +Mark Rayner +Andy Brown
#waterbirdwednesday +Water Bird Wednesday by +Margaret Tompkins
#webbywednesday +WebbyWednesday by +Celeste Odono
#wildlifewednesday by +Mike Spinak +Morkel Erasmus


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Legs Heavy with Pollen

This bee looks almost as if he is wearing jodhpurs, his leg sacks are so packed with pollen. If you look at the centres of the flowers, you see the ones that he has stripped as they are almost white. The ones waiting for his visit are the same golden colour as he is carrying on his legs.

For #beethursday  +Bee Thursday curated by +Dorothy Pugh .
The Bee Thursday theme was the theme featured for this Thursday by the +Public Calendar of Daily Photography Themes┬á– the source of all of your every day and day specific themes. Check it out and enjoy posting your images to all of these diverse themes.

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Spider in her Larder

This year for the first time I have noticed these spiders on this peony plant. There have been several of them, distinctive with their red strips and white, almost translucent bodies. They are mostly to be found on the flowers like this that are white, with splashes or edges of red or pink. It's not a bad camouflage, though it makes them elusive models. The bug you see on the right is dead. From what I could see, the spider lay in wait for bugs that passed by all unawares, then she would kill them. She then stashed them between the petals of the peony. It is as if she was storing them in her food locker or larder.

I did make some macro photographs of this little lady, one of which I might share later.

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Was for: #wordlessonwednesday ┬á┬á ┬á #wordlesswednesday ┬á´╗┐

Surf Scoters (95/365)

The last of the wildlife photographs for today, this one was another 'lifer' for me, as I had never seen surf scoters before this trip. They were spotted off Corkum's Island, very near where I saw the snowy egret, on "First South".

I was very taken with the faces of these diving ducks (see a couple diving on the right side), as they had wonderful markings that reminded me of a fashion statement that is made by some young people. They put a huge grommet in their ear or nose and it looks as if it is a round black hole. I find it a rather odd look for a human being (and I have had trouble trying to stop staring at it when being served by a shop assistant sporting one or more of these). For a diving duck it seems somehow just right. 

(You have this photograph instead of one of construction work, as somehow I think you will find it more interesting!)

#365project +G+ 365 Project by +Simon Davis-Oakley +Patricia dos Santos Paton

HQSP Birds ┬ácurated by ┬á+Anja Wessels +Philippe Avenel +Suzi Harr +Mark Rayner +Andy Brown #hqspbirds +HQSP Birds´╗┐

Muskrat With Tail Visible (94/365)

The next trip I took into Miner's Marsh gave me another first for bird viewing, a pair of Bufflehead, which were both too far from me to photograph well, but enough to get a photo to use for identification.  Striking black and white diving ducks, they are not rare around the coast, but not common inland nor on our side of the Province. 

The muskrat were out that day, busy doing whatever muskrat do and this one was near enough for me to study in a bit more detail. At one point as my camera was pressed to my eye I realized that (s)he was swimming rapidly towards me and I was a bit worried. They can be very nasty when provoked. I felt sure that I was not particularly threatening in my behaviour, so I held my ground. Eventually this one came to rest and I was particularly pleased to see how clearly the rat-like tail was visible. When it is swimming, the tail seems to act as a rudder, looking almost like an undulating snake behind the furry body. The little paws look cute as it holds whatever it is nibbling, but the claws would be not be so cute if they were used in defence, I suspect. I have never seen these creatures so close up, so was really pleased to be able to show you another photograph of the muskrat.

#365project +G+ 365 Project by +Simon Davis-Oakley +Patricia dos Santos Paton

HQSP Animals  curated by  +Anja Wessels +Alejandro J. Soto +Krystina Isabella Brion +Andy Smith #hqspanimals +HQSP Animals

Wildlife Photos ┬ácurated by ┬á+Robert SKREINER +Mladen Janjetovic #wildlifephotos +WILDLIFE Photos´╗┐

Great Blue Heron and Snowy Egret (93/365)

The Sunday of April 14th was a red letter day for me. I saw two birds that were firsts for me. One was this snowy egret, which is a rarity in our part of the world, the other was an unusual bird whose photograph I will post shortly (one per day for the project, so it has to be for another day). During the week before, I had been hearing about the snowy egret sightings that had been announced on our rare bird watch group and was feeling frustrated as they were all a fair distance away from where we live. On top of that, the renovations going on in the house meant that it was impossible to go for a long drive and just abandon the work. And of course going for a drive to a 'last sighted' location, over 1 hour drive away did not guarantee a sighting – it could have been a wild goose egret chase. So I kept quiet and said nothing and, I guess, felt a bit sorry for myself.

On Sunday another sighting came in and this time, with the work temporarily halted, I mentioned it to Steven. In no time at all I found myself in the car and on the way across the province. It was a dull grey day, with a drizzle falling at times, but it was nice to get away from the dust and rubble, even if we hadn't sighted the egret. As you see here, of course when we got there, it was still feeding along the banks of the bay. I couldn't get as close as I wanted as it was a good way across the water, but I did get a good number of photographs of it. A great blue heron was keeping it company and it was lovely to just sit in the car and watch this rare visitor.

#waterbirdwednesday +Water Bird Wednesday by +Ray Bilcliff +Sherry McBriar +Margaret Tompkins
#birds4all +Birds4All by +Walter Soestbergen
#birdloversworldwide +BIRD Lovers & WILDLIFE by +Robert SKREINER
#thirstythursdaypics by +Giuseppe Basile +Mark Esguerra
#365project +G+ 365 Project by +Simon Davis-Oakley +Patricia dos Santos Paton´╗┐