After a hearty breakfast we decided that we would take a more leisurely approach to the morning. The reed beds were our main target to see what other species could be found around the lake. Cruising along silently through the lily infested waterway we made our way deeper into the reeds. The warm morning sun bought out all manner of biting insects but the thought of finding new species drove us on. As we slowed we saw something the size of a bumble bee buzzing around along the tops of the reeds. On closer inspection we saw that it was a Rufous Hummingbird. Perched on a nearby shrub bush we edged closer to get close enough to get into a good position for photos. As the bird turned towards the light the plumage lit up like a Christmas tree. The dull green colouration transformed into a dazzling display of reds and oranges. It was a real show of how nature can produce incredible and out of this world colours.
Having been inspired by our first find the guys decided we should visit the Red Necked Grebes who could also be found in the reed beds. Greeted by the calls of a pair who were busy getting ready to build their nest was a real treat and spending time with them allowed them to get used to our presence. A Bonapartes gull was a nice treat too !
Having had our fill at the lake we drove to a local pond where we could find a whole host of species, most of all the Grebes and Ruddy Ducks as well as a few surprise species. Our approach was to get into the water with our camera equipment, a slightly daunting prospect but I knew it would be well worth it. As time went by the birds got acclimatised to the strange looking figures in the water and we were able to get some incredibly intimate photographs of these beautiful birds.
The male Ruddy Ducks displayed just metres away from us and to hear them drumming their chests was a surreal experience. By using trapped air bubbles they were able to produce a loud buzzing sound to attract a prospective mate. The noise was very funny to hear as I have never heard something so strange and other worldly.
It was easy to be distracted by the the roused male Ruddy Ducks and we almost missed the Water Rail that was skulking around the reed beds. Their call was also rather peculiar, sounding like a credit card being scrapped across the a comb. Having heard an array of sound sit was clear to see and hear the huge biodiversity within Canada !
Having woken up very early almost every day since travelling through three time zones I decided to call it a night and look forward to the owls the following day.