A Sunny Day Walk

Today was a beautiful, sunny day, something we’ve been sadly lacking lately in the PNW, so even though I was baby sitting Lael I was determined to combine some outdoor exercise with some photography. Luckily, I’ve been wanting to take Lael to the playground in Steilacoom, and after that we took a leisurely stroll around the lake. Though birding with a three-year-old in tow is quite different from the leisurely birding I usually practice, I was more than happy to be out in the sunshine and spotting at least one duck I’ve never managed to get pictures of before.

I knew as soon as I spotted this pair swimming toward the shore that I hadn’t seen them before. If I hadn’t been with Lael, I would probably have turned around and spent a half hour or so taking pictures of them, but they were certainly identifiable with this shot, which looks even better when blown up full size on my 30” computer display. Turns out they are Greater Scaups.

Female Greater Scaup

I also spotted a male Northern Shoveler, a sure sign that the wintering birds are slowly returning.

male Northern Shoveler

I showed pictures of Gadwals when I visited the lake last time, but I was still charmed by their synchronized swimming.

Gadwall Pair diving

When I pointed my lens at this grebe I just wanted to identify what it was but ended up snapping the shot because of the patterns in the water created by the shadows of the trees that surround the lake.

Shadows on Water