Well, that was fun!
Rain was predicted for the entire day but, when I saw a few hours without it in the forecast for the afternoon, I headed to Col. Sam Smith. For a change, I wanted to do an entire post without a single botany photo. This is difficult for me because all of those burgeoning plants seem to be calling my name.
To complicate matters, winds were the strongest I have ever seen at this location. It reminded me of my Antarctic cruise ship days when I would spend hours keeping tourists safe near the high cliffs on Deception Island. There is a spot here called “Neptune’s Window” and I never visited it without being accompanied by howling winds.
The winds at Col. Sam were so strong at times that it was difficult to stand and even more difficult to hold the camera steady. I did my best and here is what I was able to photograph.
The parking lot at the foot of Kipling Ave is closed:
Winds were so powerful that small birds were absent.
I am hesitant to show dead birds but I did find this male House Finch and was impressed by the lovely colours:
DUCKS, GREBES, MERGANSERS, GEESE, SWANS and CORMORANTS
The real stars of the day are the gulls who seem to be able to stay in one spot in the sky with no effort.
RING-BILLED and HERRING GULLS:
Charles Lucien Bonaparte was a nephew of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. He studied ornithology in the United States and the Bonaparte’s Gull is named after him.
By the breeding season, Bonaparte’s Gulls will have a black head and you can see that this individual is developing one. These gulls can be identified almost as far as they can be seen in flight by the white flash in the leading edge of the wing.
April the Beautiful, with streaming eyes,
Weeps o’er the havoc that rude March has made.
The dales are musical with her sweet sighs,
Tears mark her footsteps o’er the moistened glade. – John Askham (1825–94)