Monday, June 29, 2015

Kountze Lake, June 2015: Part I

I decided to visit Kountze Lake in Belmar Park on Day 2 back in Colorado. I've seen terrific shots of Great Blue Herons and American Avocets taken here by members of the Front Range Wildlife Photography Facebook group, but never visited it during warm weather myself. Today provided the perfect opportunity to correct that.

American White Pelican, Kountze Lake
A couple of American White Pelicans first caught my eye.  Their size and bright feathers make them hard to miss.

American White Pelican, Kountze Lake
I'm glad I shot them when I did, because they didn't stick around.  Before too long they'd both flown off to parts unknown.

Snowy Egret, Kountze Lake
I was surprised to also see a pair of Snowy Egrets.  Like they do in Texas, they come to Colorado for summer breeding season.

Mallard Duckling, Kountze Lake
I took up position on the shore to focus on Great Blue Heron nests on an island in the middle of the lake.  I apparently did a nice job of being unobtrusive, as a Mama Mallard brought her brood of six little ducklings swimming by.  It was cute to see them work on their dabbling.

Female Mallard, Kountze Lake
Mama was doing some feeding of her own, but never stayed under for too long before returning to watching her six youngsters.

Great Blue Heron, Kountze Lake
The Great Blues are really the star attractions.  Between their size and having their nests on a small island, they command attention even when not spreading their immense wings.

Fledgling Great Blue Herons, Kountze Lake
After sitting fairly still and doing little more than preen for an hour, these fledglings erupted into squawking chaos when an adult returned with food.

Fledgling Great Blue Herons, Kountze Lake
When you're just learning how to use your wings, I suppose it's inevitable that you'd hold them in awkward-looking poses like this one.  It certainly didn't look comfortable.

More to come!

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