Swan Lake Visit

This entry is part 20 of 133 in the series 2011 Photojournal

The kids and I stopped by Swan Lake again today to see if the swans might be there. The weather was much more pleasant than yesterday, so we stayed a little longer, but did not see the swans. We did find three Ring-necked Ducks and around 10 Lesser Scaups hanging out in the open water near the peninsula. All but one of these birds seemed fairly wary of us (the exception was a scaup who swam up close to shore near where the kids were sitting on a bench) – but the relatively small area of open water kept them close enough for a decent chance at observing them.

Scaups can be difficult to identify, and I’ll probably write up a separate post on why I think these were Lesser Scaups. I mentioned earlier in the week the mystery of the Ring-necked Ducks, but I suppose it’s also fair to say the Lesser Scaups present a similar mystery. I guess in the case of the scaups it’s easy to imagine they are just blending in with the Greater Scaups in the channel while the lake is frozen – they’re usually far enough out that it would be difficult to identify them – but I don’t really know that this is the case.

After the winds of yesterday, the prevailing calm today was a nice change. There were periodic showers, but nothing too extreme. Temperatures were in the lower 40s for much of the day. This afternoon the dew point was up between 39F and 41F, only a couple of degrees cooler than the air temperature. As a consequence of this and the lack of wind, a ground fog/mist formed over the surface of Swan Lake where there was enough ice remaining to cool the still air above it below the dew point.

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