Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Wilson's Snipe

Wilson's Snipe

I was pleased to find a nice flock of these birds on their southern migration late fall 2016. 

In Formation

In Formation

There is a unique beauty to birds in flight that is wonderful. These are Northern Shovelers. 

Bufflehead Pair

Bufflehead Pair

I find the male of this species to be exceedingly difficult to photograph and properly capture the iridescent feather coloration. 

Male Barrow's Goldeneye

Male Barrow's Goldeneye

Female Barrow's Goldeneye

Female Barrow's Goldeneye

American Coot

American Coot

Don't call me a duck, cause I aint!

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

The big bird of the marsh. 

Baird's Sandpiper

Baird's Sandpiper

Baird's Sandpiper

Baird's Sandpiper

These birds migrate from South America to the Arctic and back annually, quite the trip.

Long-billed Dowitcher

Long-billed Dowitcher

These birds use their bill up and down to feed, like a sewing machine. I found a flock of them mixed with some Wilson's Snipe during fall migration.

Mallard Hen

Mallard Hen

It was midday, a time to put away the camera usually as the light is too harsh. In this case I think it turned out ok.

Goldeneye

Goldeneye

I remember my wildlife instructor, Leroy Royer at Kelsey in Saskatoon telling the class that Goldeneye is the DUCK, Goldeye is a FISH - don't forget, I never did.

Group Of Goldeneye

Group Of Goldeneye

Just hanging out on some shallows on the Athabasca River.

Incoming!

Incoming!

Fly By

Fly By

In the spring the big birds, such as these Canada Geese,  arrive first to northern Alberta.

Keep It Simple

Keep It Simple

I like photographic compositions that are simple, clean elements that are easy to understand. The falling snow here helps to let the geese stand out and the color pallet is basic.

Goldeneye on Golden Pond

Goldeneye on Golden Pond

Barrow's Goldeneye Male

Barrow's Goldeneye Male

The ice hasn't completely left the ponds yet but no time to waste for ducks in the spring. 

Long-billed Dowitcher Flock

Long-billed Dowitcher Flock

Had to close down the lens to get enough depth of field to get everybody in focus. 

Yellowlegs

Yellowlegs

These guys look weird perching in trees in my opinion with those long spindly legs. 

Autumn Loons

Autumn Loons

Common Loons aggregate into groups, some quite large, in preparation for their migration west.

Mallard

Mallard

Pretty....

Common Loon

Common Loon

Loons always seem so well groomed, slick and never a feather out of place. 

Common Loon

Common Loon

These birds are well adapted to their watery environment but they seem vulnerable, requiring solitude and quality habitat to thrive.

Solitary Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper

Whenever I see this species of Sandpiper my mind goes to Neil Diamond singing "Solitary Man"...a real ear worm for me. 

Ringneck Ducks

Ringneck Ducks

Their is a ring on the neck of these ducks, it isn't very distinct usually though. 

Narcissus

Narcissus

The way this Tundra Swan is looking down reminds me of the myth of Narcissus who looked into the water and saw his own reflection. I believe this is a Tundra Swan because there is a noticeable yellow spot on the lore (just in front of the eye) that is not present in Trumpeter Swans apparently. 

Whooping Crane

Whooping Crane

A trip to Saskatchewan in the fall one year yielded me some Whooping Crane sightings and a few photos. There are a few smaller Sandhill Cranes interspersed in this group. 

Whoopers and Sandhill Cranes

Whoopers and Sandhill Cranes

May they always grace the sky.

Franklins Gull

Franklins Gull

Ringneck Ducks

Ringneck Ducks

Yellowlegs

Yellowlegs

Marbled Godwit

Marbled Godwit

Black Tern

Black Tern

Common Loon

Common Loon

 Goldeneyes Following Mom

Goldeneyes Following Mom

Common Loon

Common Loon

I think this loon is about to dive, you can see how the front of the bird is getting low in the water.

Crazy Mergansers

Crazy Mergansers

These young mergansers were running on the surface of the water, typical behavour prior to takeoff.

Bonaparte's Gull

Bonaparte's Gull

I love to use my kayak to explore local lakes and sometimes if I'm lucky, take photos. I believe this is a Bonaparte's Gull, based on the breeding plumage black head and orange feet, white eye ring. However, the black wing tips are supposed to be white, a bit of a mystery to me. 

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

Bonaparte's Gull

Bonaparte's Gull

This species nests in trees, quite unique.

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

Snowshoes might be more appropriate than webbed feet...

Horned Grebe

Horned Grebe

In "breeding" plumage of course.  Photographed at Big Lake, near St. Albert, Alberta.

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

Bonaparte Gulls

Bonaparte Gulls

Willet

Willet

On the ground this rather large shorebird is a rather inconspicuous grey bird but when it takes to the air the contrasty black and white of the wings is striking and likely a threat to predators after their young. 

Wilson's Phalarope

Wilson's Phalarope

In this species the male is drab and the female is the more colourful of the species, suggesting this is a female.

Yellowlegs

Yellowlegs

Harlequin Duck

Harlequin Duck

These attractive ducks nest along swift flowing rivers in the Rockies 

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