Overcoming Fear @ CCIW + Common Loon at Lasalle Marina

After the weekend by the time Tuesday rolls around I’m itching to flee my “work nest” for the great outdoors.  The only downside to autumn/winter is that I can’t get out after work.  I’m keeping busy otherwise but I do miss nipping out for an evening check.

Last Saturday afternoon I headed to the Canadian Centre for Inland Waters. An eared grebe had been spotted there during the week.  The CCIW path is my least favourite to trek either alone or with company.  During the height of summer the bush is overgrown and unwelcoming.  Autumn and winter aren’t too bad but I remain wary.  During this trip I turned back about three times but ultimately forged ahead.  Evidence of recent beaver or muskrat activity plus the windy conditions served to keep me on high alert. There was a good mix of waterfowl on the water, namely, grebes, gadwalls, swans, mallards, gulls, mergansers, scoters, etc.

Four horned grebes at Canadian Centre for Inland Waters, Burlington, Ontario

Four horned grebes

Female common merganser at Canadian Centre for Inland Waters

Female common merganser

I came upon this hermit thrush at about the mid-way point.


The double-crested cormorants have vacated this colony.

Deserted double-crested cormorant colony at Canadian Centre for Inland Waters

Deserted double-crested cormorant colony

I went deeper into the path than I’ve ever been and was surprised to find a wooden platform at the end. From this vantage point I noticed a number of waterfowl, located the remaining double-crested cormorants as well as three great-black backed gulls.

Three great black-backed gulls + mix of waterfowl at CCIW

Three great black-backed gulls + mix of waterfowl

Double-crested cormorants + mix of waterfowl at CCIW

Double-crested cormorants + mix of waterfowl

This is a summary of visits to Lasalle Marina last Sunday and yesterday. The park was so busy with photographers that a passerby asked me if we were all members of a photography club. Of course the draw is the eastern screech owl.

Eastern screech owl at Lasalle Marina, Burlington, Ontario

Eastern screech owl

Yesterday, I had a fleeting glimpse of a common loon.

Common loon at Lasalle Marina, Burlington, Ontario

Common loon

Canvasbacks were on the west side of the marina.

Canvasbacks at Lasalle Marina, Burlington, Ontario

Canvasbacks

The dark-eyed junco was the most vocal and numerous songbird. I photographed them foraging on the rocks, in the trees, in leaves and wherever visitors left seeds.

Dark-eyed junco at Lasalle Marina, Burlington, Ontario

Dark-eyed junco

Got these mid-gobble:

Double-crested cormorant with gobi at Lasalle Marina, Burlington, Ontario

Double-crested cormorant with gobi

Horned grebe with gobi at Lasalle Marina, Burlington, Ontario

Horned grebe with gobi

These are the super models:

Female red-breasted merganser at Lasalle Marina, Burlington, Ontario

Female red-breasted merganser

Female red-breasted merganser at Lasalle Marina, Burlington, Ontario

Female red-breasted merganser

Double-crested cormorant drying wings at Lasalle Marina, Burlington, Ontario

Double-crested cormorant drying wings

Double-crested cormorant - rearview at Lasalle Marina, Burlington, Ontario

Double-crested cormorant – rearview

More gorgeous birds:

Greater or lesser scaup at Lasalle Marina, Burlington, Ontario

Greater or lesser scaup

Horned grebe with gobi at Lasalle Marina, Burlington, Ontario

Horned grebe

American goldfinch at Lasalle Marina, Burlington, Ontario

American goldfinch

Male bufflehead attempts to impress female at Lasalle Marina, Burlington, Ontario

Male bufflehead attempts to impress female

Male and female buffleheads at Lasalle Marina, Burlington, Ontario

Male and female buffleheads

White-throated sparrow at Lasalle Marina, Burlington, Ontario

White-throated sparrow

I had loads of fun, particularly running into fellow birders.  I so enjoy their company including the brat of the group.

 

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