Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday the 13th!

     I don't believe in luck, I just know that things happen. Some good, some bad. I try to find the good in any bad that I encounter, whether it be a long tiring week at work or getting into a traumatic accident, I try to find the good in all. So Friday the 13th never gave me any anxiety, life happens, always and I'm ready for it, what it throws at me, and also at the same time to embrace it. I'm just happy to always be alive, to experience things, and to learn from it all.
     So after a long week of work I am pretty run down, but feeling very accomplished and proud of what myself and my coworker did. I managed to get some rest once arriving home, laying on the couch with daytime talk shows to tire my eyes, but had the itch to explore before all the rain came. So after relaxing I got out on the bike (yes, the bike is BACK in commission after a long icy streak!) and headed out to explore. I got to Bush Terminal Park, but they close at 5PM, so I did some speed birding then packed up and headed to Prospect...
The sun was getting a little lower in the sky, illuminating the waterfowl on the lake. Everyone is always so excited to look at the males, with their flashy colors, but I find something very beautiful about the modest plumage of the females. A female mallard will soon, in the coming months, be leading a pack of little mallard floof-balls along the lake.
I find immature birds adorable, we all had awkward teenage years, consider this that time for birds. As they move from their juvenile plumage into their adult plumage. This male Northern shoveler will soon be a stunner!
I even found a little rainbow while I was out! Now if I start finding leprechauns, I'm calling shenanigans!
I call this the "merganser bloop." Mergansers are diving ducks, that snag fish with their long, serrated bills. They very gracefully dive in a quick flip and disappear with the slightest hint of a splash. In my head, it looks like a "bloop" would be the perfect noise to make every time one makes a dive like this. It is also what half of any observers pictures of mergansers tend to look like. Almost all bloops.
Here is a female common merganser, very beautiful. Notice how far back their legs are set, in comparison to a mallard. Those legs are what she uses to help propel herself on dives. She is sleek and quick on and in the water, but makes for a cumbersome and awkward look on land.
The male common merganser. He is like the sports car of duck. That is a sexy bird, he blends right into the water, like as if he is just part of the normal flow. He is also my above "bloop" culprit.
A mallard drake is illuminated by the early evening light. What a handsome guy. Male ducks as gorgeous as they look are not gentlemen. I won't go into too much detail, but let's just say male and female mallard relationships-- it's not like a fairytale, at all.
Lovely lady common mergansers. They were doing a lot of diving, most likely fueling up as they will be migrating soon back from where they came from before they were here.
A female mallard stretches and flaps her wings, she's so lovely!
A pair of red tailed hawks almost seem playful, like maybe they enjoy touching their toes to the tree tops. I doubt its like running barefoot in grass, but that's it reminded me of.  But this could very well be a breeding pair, and perhaps this is playful behavior, they kept circling and dangling their legs when near to one another.
I don't know if I am ready to say goodbye to the shovelers, they will be heading back North soon. So enjoy them while you can!