Well, it is, perhaps, more than just a warm spell for November. It has been breaking records for a few days. 70 is not normal in November but those out on the lake are not complaining. A lot of birds are around including loons who either have decided not to leave yet or others who are migrating and find a nice place to fish. All of these pictures were taken on the weekend of the 7th and 8th. Obviously, the lake is alive with action.
Mallards are often seen and they are “dabbling ducks” and with the low water level, they can “tip up” and get things on the bottom that then previously couldn’t reach. These mallards are in a swamp where the water isn’t very deep, a perfect place for them to feed and hang out.
Another duck that seems to like to be in the swampy areas are near shore, that is the Hooded Merganser. They are cute little ducks, much smaller than the Common Mergansers that we often see in the summer and this one is taking a bath.
The male Hooded Merganser is an elegant duck and the female is more demur as she spends more time on the nest and needs to blend in. The white on the back of the male’s head is sometimes not as visible as they can put the feathers back on their head.
They are also shy and even though the pictures were taken from 50 or more yards away, this pair decided to leave.
Some of my favorite migrating ducks are the Common Goldeneyes. The males have wings that whistle when they fly so even though you can’t get closer than a couple of hundred yards, you can tell them by the whistle. If you have a long lens, you can see the dark and white markings.
The leaves have mostly gone from the trees as there was wind and rain last week before the warm weather hit. Large whitecaps took over the lake for a couple of days with 20 to 30 mph winds blowing for the duration. Some oaks are still keeping their leaves but most leaves are gone.
There are still loons on the lake this this “chick” is full grown and is probably the one hatched in the Heath. (not a great picture but taken at a long distance) It was seen away from any adults so is probably on its own and will fly to the ocean before the ice forms. One group of three adults was seen near the Heath and others were heard making a lot of noise near Mink Island. Obviously, they have not all headed to their winter haunts.
And finally, our eagle pair is still here. They may drift away for a few weeks but won’t be gone for long as this lake is “their” lake and they need to protect their space. The male was seen catching a fish near Turtle Island and the female, pictured here, was on Sister. Male eagles have pure white heads while the females have some “gray eye shadow” and a much more massive bill and claws than the male. They are also about 50% larger than the males. Birds of prey often have this size difference so that when prey is of different sizes, one of the pair can find food for the young.
It will only get colder but this warm spell is a nice treat for those who can be on the lake.