Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Porcupine Lake in May

Springtime is too short!  These past weeks I have not taken the time to write any posts because I did not want to miss one minute of spring.  I feel blessed to have a lake close enough to explore on my bicycle.  Porcupine Lake is surrounded with great trails that attract a wide variety of birds.  I always find it surprising that there are so many birds around and on the lake even though it's so close to town.  On nice days, it's a really busy place with people and dogs, and there are even planes taking off and landing on the lake.  But in the spring, the birds don't seem to mind!

Here's a few birds I photographed around Porcupine Lake during the last 3 weeks of May.

Merlin / Faucon émerillon
Porcupine Lake (May 2014)
The Warblers started to arrive in the wooded trail by the second week of May and we started to hear Winter Wrens.  The part of the trail that starts near the Whitney Arena is great for warblers.
Northern Parula / Paruline à collier
Porcupine Lake (May 2014)
Lesser Yellowlegs / Petit Chevalier
Porcupine Lake (May 2014)
Some of the nicest finds are the ones that are just passing by on their migration routes.  They are  only here for a short time so Spring or Fall is the only time we get to view them… if we're lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.  Gary and I were lucky enough to spot these Long-tailed Ducks.  They didn't stick around for very long.
Long-tailed Duck / Harelde kakawi
Porcupine Lake  (May 14, 2014)
I also saw my first White-winged Scoters on Porcupine Lake.  They were originally spotted by Josh Janvrin and we found a flock of about 11 the next day.  They were quite far so the photo is not clear but I'm posting it anyway because who knows when we get to see these interesting birds again.
White-winged Scoter / Macreuse brune
Some other migratory birds that stopped at Porcupine Lake in May included the Short-billed Dowitchers  (I'm not taking credit for the find… my neighbour actually spotted them and told me about it so I went to check it out the next day… and I'm also not taking credit for the i.d. because I needed help to determine if they were Short-billed or Long-billed Dowitchers.)
Short-billed Dowitcher / Bécassin roux
Porcupine Lake (May 2014)
Dunlins were also present with the Dowitchers, as well as one little tiny bird who was well hidden amongst them.  It was a Least Sandpiper.  I spotted one last fall at exactly the same spot, except he was all alone.
Dunlin / Bécasseau variable
Porcupine Lake (May 2014)