Friday, 21 November 2014

Beginning of Winter Photos - November 21 2014

A mild day today so Dave and I headed to Burger King to fortify ourselves for a nature walk at Fort Whyte Alive.
Temperature was around freezing when we started our walk, which isn't to bad when you are dressed for it, but the wind was pretty fierce and I really regretted not wearing my balaclava.
We were a little surprised to see several hundred Canada Geese on the open water in the middle of the largest lake. While we watched as over 100 Geese took off to continue their southward journey to warmer climes. It was pretty impressive watching them take off and form several large "V's" and head south.
We observed a moderate sized flock of ducks take off behind the Geese but couldn't identify them as they were quite a distance away.
We walked and took in the scenery for about an hour, but, with our cheeks starting to sting we headed into the Buffalo Stone Cafe for a break.
After the break we continued our walk and encountered a few dozen Mallards in and around another area of open water on one of the other lakes.
As I was standing staring off into the bush at lord knows what Dave whispers "there". I turned just in time to see an antlered buck disappear into the brush.  I was able to get one photo of the Stag through some thick brush, not a great photo but it turned out better than I thought it would and I finally got my first photo of an antlered Stag.
It is several hours after our outing and my cheeks are still stinging a bit.
Here are some of the photos I took today at Fort Whyte and at home.
Some of the few several hundred Geese in the open water on the lake.

Part of the group take offs from the lake. We think all the lumps on the ice are Goose droppings, but, neither of us were willing to venture out onto the ice to prove our theory.

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Mallards standing in slush around open water in one of the lakes


Trail

Nesting box in one of the ponds

Another pond

Stag 30 feet away through pretty dense brush, feel lucky to have gotten this photo

White Breasted Nuthatch

White Breasted Nuthatch