Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Lake Birds

When I wrote my last post, I promised that I would show you the photos of all the birds I saw. There were so many birds at the lake that morning!

Of course the Canada Geese were there - they always are, hanging out at the lagoon, swimming leisurely across the lake or flying over it while making a lot of noise. I enjoy watching them land on the water - gracefully and with quite some splash!

Another of the regulars are the cormorants. They love to sit in the top of the trees right next to the water where they soak up the sun. They don't seem to care about anyone else in their area and never mingle with the other birds.

My greatest joy, however, are the herons. This morning I saw five of them - four black-crowned night heron and one green heron. I also heard another green heron; they can get quite noisy. Here is the green heron that I discovered along the narrow fisherman's trail - a true beauty, don't you think?

Right across from him, patiently waiting for breakfast, was this handsome guy - a black-crowned night heron.

I loved how the two of them were so close together hunting for food without getting mad at each other.

The black-crowned herons are my favorites. I can never pass one without stopping and looking at it. They are pretty awesome birds. Male and female look alike, but the young ones are brown and only turn to this beautiful white and bluish color in adulthood. This particular one loves to hang out in this small and kind of hidden part of the lake. It sits under low hanging brunches and is difficult to spot from the trail. I only saw it because I know that it loves to be here.

There were three other ones close by, sitting in the trees. Two of them flew off later and settled in a different tree, right at the edge of the trail. What an opportunity to get up close!

Yes, they do have red eyes. They are stunning and such a contrast to their more muted body color. Just see for yourself.

Quite an impressive beak as well!

The lake wouldn't be a lake without a few swans. They were busy with the morning cleaning, mingling with the geese and ducks.

Later they swam across the lake to the other side.

From there I saw them taking off. To be completely honest, I first heard them taking off. You can easily identify swans flying by the loud swooshing sound of their huge wings - it is truly amazing!

And last but not least a California Quail. The are not water birds, of course, but they made their home close to the lake. They are funny birds, very shy, and produce unique sounds (you can listen to them here). Usually they stay in flocks and run away quickly as soon as someone comes close. They love to rustle in the underbrush and probably look for food there.

It's also our state bird - a cute little beauty.


Elephant's Child said...

Feathered enchantment. Serene and beautiful. Heart healing.
Thank you so much.

21 Wits said...

Oh my such beautiful photos! They sure know how to enjoy life out and about on the water or in the air too!

Anonymous said...

Carola, your bird photography is wonderful and I loved seeing all these beauties! I miss all the birds I was able to see right from my windows in California - including California quail that flocked in the yard. We have black-crowned night herons here, too, and they are one of my favorites also.

Darla said...

Amazing photos Carole. What a wonderful spot for birding. I like the herons but the swans are so graceful

Linda Kay said...

Perfect pictures, Carola, so clear.

Cheri said...

your photos are gorgeous - I think you've missed your calling!

windrock studio said...

What a beautiful, busy place your lake is! I think about being lucky enough to find some feathers along the path.

Magic Love Crow said...

Wow! Magnificent! Truly beautiful!

GreenComotion said...

Very beautiful collection of birds and lovely snaps!
I have only seen the Californian Quail in a couple of other blogs, but they always are a joy to look at.
Have a Beautiful Day!
Peace :)

Petra Pavlátková said...

Great captures of the birds, Carola! I love the photo of the swans mingling with the geese and ducks, with the fog in the background… it's beautiful. The California Quail looks funny and the herons are impressive, I hadn't known herons can look so different!

It must have been a magical morning!