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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Winter Visitors 2

Here's more winter visitors, a trio of male Bufflehead Ducks (Bucephala albeola) competing for the attention of a female of the species. It's possible to see several hundred of these ducks in a morning's stroll along the West Bay Walkway these days.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Winter Visitors

I've been walking on the West Bay Walkway again recently and have been happy to see some of our winter visitors back from their northern travels. Pictured today are my favorite diving ducks, a trio of male Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus). On the same walk I saw some Common Mergansers and large flocks of Bufflehead Ducks like those in yesterday's photo. These are birds we don't see at all in the summertime because they migrate further north to nest and rear their young. As winter sets in they fly south and many stop here to brighten our shores until spring.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


A hazy winter morning on the Inner Harbour earlier this week found these paddlers setting out and a flock of little Bufflehead Ducks taking off.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rail Fence

Here's a feature of most of the parks in this area - rail fences. Sometimes they are used to provide a barrier such as on the edges of steep drop-offs but mostly they are used as in this photo, to protect areas that the groundskeepers are trying to restore to native vegetation. Most of the local parks' "wild areas" are overgrown with introduced "invasive" species of plants that compete with the indigenous species. Sometimes the introduced species such as English Ivy or Scotch Broom completely take over the environment and native species are in danger of extinction. Rail fences are used to protect areas where native plants are growing and where their health can be monitored and competing species removed. This particular rail fence protects such an area on Macaulay Point.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

One More Mushroom

Well the cold weather has arrived early this year - it's freezing every night now and I doubt I'll see many more mushrooms popping up this year. But before I bid the season adieu, after last week's posts of weird-shaped fungi I thought I would post this mushroom-shaped mushroom. It looks good enough to eat though I have no idea whether it is edible or not.