Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Eurasian Wigeon at Porcupine Lake

On Sunday night (June 12) we were at a friend's place at Porcupine Lake when we spotted a male Eurasian Wigeon on the shore just 50 meters from us.  It was on the grass with other ducks.  As soon as I spotted it, it flew away to the lake a bit further.  I snapped a quick blurry photo before it took off.

Eurasian Wigeon (Right) Mallar (Left)
Porcupine Lake (12 June 2016)
It landed not too far so we were still able to observe it for a few minutes before it disappeared in the thick reeds.  This is the 3rd year in a row that an Eurasian Wigeon is observed at Porcupine Lake.   I missed the first 2 Porcupine Lake sightings, which were in June 2014 and May 2015.  Here is a photo of the bird before it hid in the reeds.
Eurasian Wigeon / Canard Siffleur
Porcupine Lake (12 June 2016)
On Monday morning, I went for a bicycle ride to the lake and found the Eurasian Wigeon again.  This time it was at Bannerman Park, laying in the sun on the shore with other ducks.  It was on a private property, so I took this quick photo from 90 meters away.  It's not the clearest, but still not bad for a small point and shoot camera 90 meters away.  I could've tried to get closer but I really don't like to disturb resting ducks.
Eurasian Wigeon with other ducks and a Crow
Porcupine Lake (13 June 2016)
On my way back home, I decided to cycle the Prospector Trail along Porcupine Lake and I wasn't disappointed.  
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Porcupine Lake (13 June 2016)
I got to watch this Olive-sided Flycatcher catch some very large insects. If you know what kind of insect this is, let me know.

Olive-sided Flycatcher with insect
Porcupine Lake (13 June 2016)
A few minutes after I got home, I received a call from our friend that lives on Porcupine Lake saying I should go back to his place because there was an unusual pale bird that he had never seen before.  When I got there, we spotted the bird flying close to shore and I was able to confirm that it was a Northern Mockingbird.  They are not common here; I had seen one in South Porcupine around 8 years ago.  I also saw one last year, on June 4, 2015 at the Moosonee Sewage Lagoons.  Monday's sighting was a first for Porcupine Lake.
Northern Mockingbird
Porcupine Lake (13 June 2016)
I will try to continue to monitor the Eurasian Wigeon's presence at the lake. And I'm sure we'll all keep our eyes open next year around this time.

On another note, the wildflowers are starting to grow on the edge of the Porcupine Lake trail... but sadly, the city workers cut the grass all along the trail edge. This means we won't see as many wildflowers as usual.  This is a Striped Coralroot that survived the weed-eater! This lovely plant is part of the orchid family I believe.
Striped Coralroot
Porcupine Lake (June 2016)