Winter at Grenadier Pond

We took the dogs to High Park yesterday morning. We went to check out Grenadier Pond to see who might be on it. No one was on the ice at its southern end, but the open, reedy northern end had a few friendly faces.

The pond, looking west. Wait — who’s that on the water?

Check it out, it’s an American Coot!

Here’s that tight-knit group of Mallards and mega-Mallard mixes who live here all year round. The one in front of them, though…

No upward curl on the tailfeathers, no white on the speculum (shoulder patch), quite a bit darker than the female Mallard… I think we’ve got an American Black Duck here.

This grouping is properly called a raft, but I’d like to call them a duck jam. And you are…?

Ah! Northern Shovelers! You can see the water lapping over Mrs Shoveler’s bill as she wiggles it back and forth to strain tiny food particles.

Farther from shore is another, smaller, raft. Pretty sure they’re…

Yep! Those cute little diving ducks, the Buffleheads! Here’s a male. They’re black and white, but some of the black reflects nice irridescent colours.

Uh-oh. That swan is peeved about being saved till last. Hey, Shovelers, duck!

3 Responses to Winter at Grenadier Pond

  1. jamesviscosi says:

    hello lavenderbay its dennis the vizsla dog hay i wood mayk a joke abowt the american coot and my brother tucker the other cranky old man vizsla dog eksept that tucker is akchooally canadian so oh well ha ha ok bye

  2. Gina says:

    I so love ducks, geese and swans. Not an ugly duckling int he bunch!

  3. lavenderbay says:

    Hello Dennis! I didn’t check the passports of those birds. They’re called “American” because they belong to the Americas, which currently comprises 20-odd countries, and not because any of them were born in, say, Erie Pennsylvania. In my travels I’ve met Pacific Black Ducks, Australasian Shovelers, and European Coots, which are all different species than the ones in the photos above. You know what this means, don’t you? It means there are alternatives to turkey necks all over the world!

    We were really happy with the selection of beauties yesterday too, Gina. The Shovelers and probably the Black Ducks have come south, and we usually see the little Buffleheads only out on Lake Ontario, and I have no idea where that Coot came from!

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