I arrived shortly after 7AM just as the sun was starting to appear over the lake. The landscape was alive with Ring-billed Gulls who were eagerly awaiting their usual breakfast of day old bread compliments of the “bird man” as the locals call him who arrives everyday to feed them. I walked around some but never did spot the eagle so my guess is I got there a little too early.
I decided to do some birding during lunch too because lately it appears to be the only time I can do it during the week because it's the only time I can get out during sunlight and promised myself I would get out of my office at least once a week for lunch but never seem to do it. Institute Park is a short drive so I decided to go there to see if there was anything interesting since the last time I paid a visit.
While walking to the pond I could see various waterfowl including the usual Mallards who were flying by as I walked to the shoreline.
The usual gulls were there including the tagged gull above. I saw two of them but from what I understand there were either three or four according to a birder some of you may know who visits Institute park rather frequently and I happened to bump into as it was lunch time! Check out the Ring-billed Gull in the immediate front of the photo. Wondering if it is eating some kind of berry or trying to consume plastic of some sort.
A lousy flight shot of American Crows but thought it was cool in that it shows the mechanics of the birds flight pattern. Yes, I am a complete dork but there is something about flying birds that intrigue me so I pay attention.
There were also scores of Hooded Mergansers in the pond including the one above.
They were not at all shy like the ones I have encountered lately so it was nice to be able to study them some. We watched them for a while and every so often, one of the males would do a nice display between preening.
The Mallards approached rather closely hoping for a handout including this handsome drake Mallard above. Check out the blue tint on the top of this birds head. Mallards may be common but that doesn't take away from their overall beauty, especially when you are able to see the variation in colors in its plumage like the picture above.
A handsome guy indeed!And of course what would any visit to Institute Park be without a mention of everyone favorite pond bird the Mute Swan!
Four of them where there today, but behaving like boy scouts much to the relief of the other birds in the water. When I was there during mating season these swans were terrorizing the others so it was interesting to see their change in behaviour today.
Hooded Mergansers taking flight as I walk by.And some micro photography as my camera does a much better job at this vs. the far away photos I yearn so much to perfect.
I believe this may be what the gull was eating. It looks like Evening Nightshade past their prime but not 100% certain.
The Gray squirrels were out and about as always.
A cool shot of a cattails with an out of focus shot of a female Hooded Merganser.
A flight shot of a female Hooded Merganser.And a flight shot of a Ring-billed Gull flying overhead and giving me the eye.
As it flies on by! Take care all.