Between sick kids, work on various projects, and the impending start of the semester, I have not managed to spend much time outside lately. I had need to go downtown today, so I took a walk with a side trip to Swan Lake on my way back.
Weather: Temperatures have cooled off again and it’s been snowing off and on the last couple of days. Today it was mostly clear, which allowed for a nice viewing of Comet McNaught. I was a little unprepared at how fast it would fall below the horizon, so I did not have a chance to get as nice a foreground as I might have preferred. Still, it was fun to see it.
Birds: I saw several mixed flocks of Redpolls and Pine Siskins today. It seemed like the birds I could identify were mostly redpolls, however.
I was a little surprised at how frozen Swan Lake was already. There was only a relatively small area of open water near the penninsula inlet. This was filled mostly with Mallards, though I did see a female or juvenile Northern Pintail in the mix. Several gulls were also around, including one Thayer’s Gull and many Glaucous-winged Gulls. I suspect there was a juvenile Glaucous Gull as well, but it flew off before I had a good chance to check it out and be sure.
When I first arrived at the lake, there were many ravens feeding on food someone scattered about on the penninsula for the birds. After a few minutes of their squabbles and eating, they seemed to back off a little bit and a few gulls joined in with the remaining ravens. Then the ravens seemed to pretty much move out entirely, and a couple more gulls along with several ducks moved over to feed. It seemed interesting that the ducks waited for the ravens to get out of there before going up to feed rather enthusiastically.