Yesterday afternoon, 1 May 2015, I left home to drive SE of the city, with Frank Lake as my main destination. I was there on 26 April with quite a large group of birders and the lake was so beautifully calm – made for some nice reflections. Yesterday was the opposite, with very strong winds, making it really difficult to stand and especially hold a camera. The wind started a short while after I left home and I did wonder what it was going to be like at Frank Lake. The highway south is through pretty flat, prairie land and so there is little to break the force of the wind. As a result, I had to grip the steering wheel the whole drive, trying to keep my car within the lines of my lane. A few hours of gripping my camera and bracing myself against a wooden corner at the bird blind (hide) didn’t help. Last night and today, my shoulders and arms are so painful, having triggered the inflammation in both shoulder rotator cuffs again. Fortunately, today will be a lot more relaxing.
I didn’t see many species of bird yesterday afternoon, as my main focus was on the Eared Grebes, that I love seeing and photographing. Far more of them than a few days earlier, probably because they were trying to find a slightly more sheltered bit of water instead of the huge expanse of open lake. Saw a Coot or two, a few Canada Geese, maybe 15 or so White-faced Ibis in flight. Saw a couple of Yellow-headed Blackbirds, one Red-winged Blackbird, a Ruddy Duck, and endless noisy Gulls. Drove past the Great Horned Owl family and all looked well. I went all the way round the lake, but didn’t see any birds at all along these gravel roads. I love driving the backroads of the prairie landscape.
The trip was worth it, though (apart from my painful arms!). Now I just have to go through and delete all the dozens of very blurry Grebe shots. Hardly unexpected, though, given the very windy day. I was just amazed that a few photos look like they may be sharp enough to post! This one really shows why I think their eyes look like red buttons : )
Tagged: , Alberta , Canada , SE of Calgary , Frank Lake , nature , ornithology , avian , bird , Grebe , Eared Grebe , adult , close-up , head shot , Podiceps nigricollis , water bird , migratory , annkelliott , FZ200 , Lumix , Anne Elliott , © Anne Elliott 2015 , © All Rights Reserved , season , spring , May , Panasonic DMC-FZ200