Duck/Bird of the Day

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KayTheCurler

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The road kill that gets eaten is the animals that died instantly or got shot because they had a broken bone. Our indigenous residents don't like to see country food wasted. A few years ago this neighbourhood was bothered by rabbits. The problem improved quite quickly when some indigenous people moved in across the back alley. They kept several families fed with snares locally and around the outskirts of town.
 

BetteTheRed

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Yes, Luce and I just got back from a long pleasant walk. In a rare moment of relative freedom for her, she got the treat of being on the extendi-lead. As I watched her zigging and zagging and doubling back to re-check a special smell, I had the thought that the WoofTrak tracker on my phone should be attached to her, not me; we'd get 3X the mileage, LOL.

I supposed cormorant crap would be a problem because of its acid levels (I learned in the U.K. that one always cleans up heron crap if it gets on your boat, stat, because of the intestinal acidity required to digest whole fish). You'd think, though, that trees who had evolved to live next to water (lots of spruce and willow) would have co-evolved to live with such acidity, though? Regardless, I like them. If you walk on the rail trail at dusk, when they've just gone to roost for the night, it's like having a guard of silent dark sentinels.
 

BetteTheRed

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Vegetarian wild-life is quite edible, like wild turkeys and Canada geese. However, cormorants eat mainly fish, which makes them both unpleasant ("fishy" flesh) and dangerous (mercury) to eat.

LOL re the rabbits, Kay!
 

Waterfall

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When I was a kid they were sort of rare to see. There was this farm somewhere within an hour or so of London. Jack Minors farm. He had a goose sanctuary thing going. He fed them as they passed by migrating south. I remember going one day with my parents. Thousands of geese in the field. Hundreds of people watching them. The noise was unbelievable

and now they are everywhere. At least here in thornbury they seem to migrate. I seldom see one in the winter. Unlike Toronto where thousands live year round. 50 years ago or so, some stupid people put a mating pair on the Toronto islands. No predators and now the islands are over run with messy, poopy geese
Jack Miners is in Kingsville, closer to Windsor than London. I went there almost every year growing up in Leamington during my teenage years. You never really knew the day the geese would take off all at once, but when they did, the whole sky would darken when they took flight. I loved it!
But it's true, they don't seem to migrate the way they used to. Very seldom do I see the familiar V in the air that they normally form on their way down south. The small lake down the street has had mallards, swans and geese all winter with none seeming to migrate.
 

Lastpointe

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Thanks. Yes that would have been close enough for my parents to drive down for the day and a picnic

we see them migrate here. And all September then train the babies to fly. Lots of noisy V shaped geese in the air. Dog sits and watches them

but man they are messy birds. poop every two minutes or some such thing. they Are not fans of longer grass so that keeps them away a bit. We occasionally get a pair checking out our pond but luckily the dog scares them away
 

JayneWonders

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We are surrounded by wetlands along our road, some are ponds. The Canada geese fly in formation to & from them.

We also have swans in the ponds. Last week I saw a lone swan, which is unusual. It was hanging with the geese.

What was more delightful, was driving along and seeing a heron standing ever so quietly in the water, waiting to strike.
Such a gorgeous creature, and one that I watch for as I drive along our road. They have a few favourite fishing spots.
 

Lastpointe

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We don’t see swans ever up here. Perhaps it is too cold too soon for them. Tons of swans by old house in Toronto. Mute swans and trumpeter swans

we have a resident great blue heron. Hubby really dislikes him as he eats the fish. we don’t actually mind him taking a fish or two but sometimes he stabs a big one, doesn’t catch it but the fish later dies. Between the herein, cormorants and kingfisher e need to add fish annually. Kids tease hubby that the fish in the pond is just a way of feeding the birds
 

Carolla

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We don’t see swans ever up here. Perhaps it is too cold too soon for them. Tons of swans by old house in Toronto. Mute swans and trumpeter swans

we have a resident great blue heron. Hubby really dislikes him as he eats the fish. we don’t actually mind him taking a fish or two but sometimes he stabs a big one, doesn’t catch it but the fish later dies. Between the herein, cormorants and kingfisher e need to add fish annually. Kids tease hubby that the fish in the pond is just a way of feeding the birds
@Lastpointe - your post makes me chuckle. My parents cottage was on a small lake & my dad used to stock it with fingerlings every year or two. The kids loved to feed the fish from the end of the dock when we visited. But for sure - between the snapping turtles, herons, other fish eaters ... there wasn't much left for us humans to go fishing for!
 

KayTheCurler

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We had a dugout on the acreage. Hubby wanted fish so we laid out the necessary chunk of cash. It was almost instant - suddenly our dugout was the restaurant of the day. Herons, kingfisher, snapping turtles appeared and cleaned everything out.
 

BetteTheRed

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When my kids were growing up, their grandpa had acreage which included a stocked trout pond. And when they went away for a weekend, it was our job to feed the dogs, and the fish. When the kids dipped a rod in, they almost always caught something; they were pretty tame. My rule was that the kids could not bring home a fish for dinner unless it had been cleaned for me.
 
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KayTheCurler

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I like that. Restaurant of the day. It’s like an early bird special
Maybe it could be found quickly by an altered smell or something? Possibly like we can smell a KFC outlet even when we can't see where it is. It didn't take much time at all before the wild ones showed up. So exciting until we realised how they were emptying out the fish population.
 

Carolla

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So I went to the lake today :) Saw two new-to-me waterfowl, and a pair of swans on a hot date! That was quite a display.
This is the Blue Winged Teal - a very small dabbling duck. Its head has some iridescence, but the light was poor for the photo. The other new one I saw was a horned grebe - unusual sighting for this area, but my photos are too grainy to post :-(

P1030902 (3) sm.JPG
 

BetteTheRed

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I took Lucy down to beach for her very first swim of the season. It was dead cold in the water (my hands got chilled just handling the sticks), and we didn't plan it, went for a walk on the trail, realized the beach was empty, so ran back to the truck for 2 sticks (her entire stick collection is in the car). She actually made about a dozen plunges out until she dragged her leash back to me as if to say "enough is enough". In the meantime, though, I'm pretty sure I saw a loon a ways out. It's hard to tell the difference between a loon and a merganser from a distance, but this bird was floating low like a loon. Looked to be solo, but mate might have been under water fishing. We were only down there for 10 minutes max. I wish I could show you pictures. Perhaps when I get a new phone with a half decent camera...
 

Carolla

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Me too @Lastpointe. What is it that you love about them? They evoke memories of summer campfires, sleeping in the tent trailer with my family & hearing the loons call all through the night - frightening me the first time I heard their unique voices, canoe trips when we might surprise them as we silently glided around a point, seeing some with babies on their backs & nearby, and a visit from a solitary loon in our cottage bay after my mom died - they were a favourite of hers - so we called it 'the grannie loon'. Special times.
 

BetteTheRed

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One thing I love about them is the way they "inhabit" the water. They're not just bobbing on the top; they are quite submersed in the water; almost like an "upper level fish"...
 
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