Western Grebes are migrant visitors here and I’ll bet they never expected to find their temporary winter quarters to be frozen! These Grebes are a type of water bird and are not ducks at all. They are large and eat small fish, small aquatic animals, and insects. We have about 1-2″ of ice still on our 101 acre private community lake. The lake froze over for the second time this winter. There are a huge number of Ducks, Geese, and assorted other water birds, such as American Coots, Pied-Billed Grebes and the Western Grebes, huddled in a long line just near our marina (the marina is closed for the winter). The birds are basically just standing or sitting huddled together on top of the frozen lake. This cluster line of water birds is about a third of a mile away from my home so it is very hard to show in a good photograph. I am including one shot taken with my 18mm – 200mm Nikkor lens on my Nikon D300S digital SLR camera. My long zoom lens is at the Sigma shop being repaired as that lens’ auto-focus does not work properly. So, a regular type of lens will have to do for another couple of weeks until my zoom returns home. Anyway, I took these pictures from my back deck on 12/28/10 (Ducks and Grebes) and on 12/29/10 (Coots) rather late in the afternoon. The American Coot flock had been huddled under my dock and then went for a stroll out onto the ice. A few decided that walking on ice was “For the birds” and flew the short distance to the main group of birds way out by the marina. Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture. Enjoy! P.S. Please forgive the lay-out today. I sometimes have difficulty properly lining the pictures up when using the photo caption option. Thanks!
Posts tagged ‘Frozen Lakes’
I woke up this morning and discovered to my great surprise, that the 101 acre community lake where I live, has frozen over! The Ducks have gone else-where or are hunkering down on the shoreline. I did see the Canada Geese and Greylag Goose fly by low to the ice, looking quite bewildered! We do have a larger lake in our private community here that usually does not completely freeze. As far as our frozen lake – last year the lake froze about two weeks later in the year than it has this year. Old time residents here remarked last year that it had been the first time that this lake froze in the past twenty-one years! So, I don’t know if this is the new normal or if this spate of very cold (for TN) weather is just unusual. The backyard was just filled with birds this morning, too!
I saw a Northern Yellow-Shafted Flicker, a Yellow Bellied Sap Sucker, a Blue Jay, several White Breasted Nuthatches, several Tufted Titmice, several Mourning Doves, Crows, and many Junco’s and Sparrows! Quite the morning for bird watching! We also have the usual pack of Grey Squirrels and several resident Eastern Chipmunks! No Ducks, however have shown up. I took these pictures just a few moments ago (literally right out of the camera) on 12/20/10 at about 9:20 A.M. Central Time. Note the Crow walking on the water! Well, frozen water anyway! That single Crow was the only one of the birds to venture out onto the ice. Guess that Crow must have been thirsty or curious. The birds must be highly confused about the frozen state of the lake. It is making for great bird sightings, though. Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger photo!
A Pekin Duck gone wild (Domestic farm breed of Duck), Mallard Ducks, and American Coots were desperate for a place to paddle on one of the smallest of our community lakes. The lake froze over almost completely, from the overnight hours into the early afternoon on 12/15/10. I took one set of photographs from the shore leaning out the car window. I went on my way elsewhere and upon my return, I passed by this same lake (It is about 1/2 miles from where I live). I noticed that the pool of open water had shrunk to almost nothing and the ducks were actually walking on water (well, frozen water anyway). I think I caught a picture where a coot fell through the thin ice, making a splash of snowy ice and water. The temperatures here have been largely below freezing most of the time day and night for the past several days. This is unusual for the area, I have been told. I do know that the Ducks, Geese, Coots, and Grebes will be moving to shorelines on nearby lakes that may have more open water soon. The weather is forecast to get a bit warmer but not much here in coming days. I wish the critters well in their effort to stay able to find food, paddle freely, and be warm. I took these pictures on the afternoon of December 15, 2010. The lake where I live is now pretty much ice free due to our milder temperatures of yesterday and today. The little lake still has thin ice but also is thawing a bit. I was glad I took these pictures of an unusual event. Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture. Enjoy!