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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Stormy Weather

This entry is part 19 of 133 in the series 2011 Photojournal

Winds picked up through the morning and by this afternoon it was blowing Southeast with strong enough gusts that the crew working on roofing the new house decided it was prudent to shift their efforts to parts of the job that didn’t have quite so much exposure. Accompanying the winds was a moderate rain that seemed heavier as it was driven by the stronger gusts.

Connor and Rowan had seen four Trumpeter Swans on Swan Lake this morning, so they wanted to stop by and check to see if they were still there. I had arrangements to test drive a pick up just up the street, so we all walked to the lake together. There were 40 or more Mallards and a few gulls resting on the ice around the open water adjacent to the peninsula. It was interesting to see the wind whipping the rain and surface water across the ice that remained over much of the lake. The south end of the lake had opened up quite a bit since I walked by on Monday, and I saw at least two Ring-necked Ducks along with a handful of scaups.

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Wind and Rain

This entry is part 17 of 133 in the series 2011 Photojournal

Although the clouds started moving over yesterday afternoon, there had been no rainfall by lunch today. For some reason I imagined it would continue to hold off when getting ready to head out and run some errands. Unsurprisingly, this did not turn out to be correct. From shortly after we left, gusting winds were pushing … Read more

Daily Observations: Swan Lake and Sage Beach Sunset

This entry is part 177 of 222 in the series 2007 Photojournal

This morning after dropping Rowan off at preschool, I went kayaking for a couple of hours. I went out towards Middle Channel, over to the lighthouse and then approached Beardslee Island before heading back to town. Rowan and I went to Swan Lake after I picked her up from preschool. Weather: Winds were calm and … Read more