Frank Lake

I had an amazing evening photographing flying Terns out at Frank Lake. The waterfowl was out in full force with Grebes and Redheads playing around by the blind. There was a bunch of White-faced Ibis off in the distance, and I saw my first couple of Black Terns. But the star of the day was most definitely the Common Terns which spent the whole time hovering and diving into the marshy area east of the blind. I think I shot about 800 photos of the Terns alone (a couple hundred of which were complete blurs, or more likely nothing but sky where I had missed the bird completely). One thing I learned for sure is that shooting birds in flight is not an easy thing to do and I could use a whole lot more practice at it. But it sure was a lot of fun..!

Eared Grebe in a prairie pond

Eared Grebe in a prairie pond

Eared Grebe in a prairie pond

Eared Grebe in a prairie pond

Ring-billed Gull in flight over a prairie wetland

Ring-billed Gull in flight over a prairie wetland

Redhead duck in a prairie wetland

Redhead duck in a prairie wetland

Redhead duck in a prairie wetland

Redhead duck in a prairie wetland

Eared Grebe in a prairie pond

Eared Grebe in a prairie pond

Redhead ducks in flight over a prairie wetland

Redhead ducks in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Eared Grebe in a prairie pond

Eared Grebe in a prairie pond

Black Tern in a prairie wetland

Black Tern in a prairie wetland

White-faced Ibis in flight over a prairie wetland

White-faced Ibis in flight over a prairie wetland

Black Tern in a prairie wetland

Black Tern in a prairie wetland

Yellow-headed Blackbird perched in the reeds of a prairie wetland

Yellow-headed Blackbird perched in the reeds of a prairie wetland

White-faced Ibis in flight over a prairie wetland

White-faced Ibis in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Pair of Duck tails sticking out of a prairie pond

Pair of Duck tails sticking out of a prairie pond

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern in flight over a prairie wetland

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

Tree Swallow on a barbed-wire fence

Tree Swallow on a barbed-wire fence

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Frank Lake

Winter seemed a big long this year and by April I was desperate to get out and do something. Despite it not being very warm, and a strong north wind blowing I thought I would give Frank Lake a try to see if the birds were migrating yet.

While the birds were starting to arrive (most notably the Northern Pintails) the lake was still partially ice covered. Most of the shoreline was free of ice, but it was completely flooded and I couldn’t actually get near the lake. At the trail to the viewing blind where I parked my car the water came pretty much right out to the roadway, the walkway was completely submerged, and the actual blind had water halfway up the railings.

I walked around the lake shore for a bit despite it being completely unproductive, but eventually the wind took it’s toll and I gave up and headed home.

 

Flock of Northern Pintail ducks on a frozen lake Alberta Canada

Flock of Northern Pintail ducks on a frozen lake Alberta Canada

Flock of Northern Pintail ducks on a frozen lake Alberta Canada

Flock of Northern Pintail ducks on a frozen lake Alberta Canada

Powerlines through the prairies with mountain views

Powerlines through the prairies with mountain views

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Frank Lake

Another evening out at Frank Lake…

I had my first experience with the Common Tern, and they may be one of my new favourite birds, I think I could spend hours watching them hover over the water searching for fish and diving down with a splash to catch them in their beaks.

While the Tern’s didn’t stay around very long there were ample other birds to watch and photograph, including the horrendously ugly baby Coots, and the tiny little Eared Grebe chicks riding around on their mothers backs. For the fist time that I’ve been to Frank Lake the light was better than just mediocre, and by the time the golden hour hit, it was just about the perfect way to spend a summers evening on the prairies.
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Common Tern hovering in flight over a prairie lake

Common Tern hovering in flight over a prairie lake

Gravel backroad through Alberta Farmland at sunset

Gravel backroad through Alberta Farmland at sunset

Black-necked Stilt wading on the shores of a prairie lake, Alberta Canada

Black-necked Stilt wading on the shores of a prairie lake, Alberta Canada

American Avocet Alberta Canada

American Avocet Alberta Canada

Common Tern hovering in flight over a prairie lake

Common Tern hovering in flight over a prairie lake

Black-necked Stilt wading on the shores of a prairie lake, Alberta Canada

Black-necked Stilt wading on the shores of a prairie lake, Alberta Canada

American White Pelican on a prairie pond Alberta Canada

American White Pelican on a prairie pond Alberta Canada

Common Tern hovering in flight over a prairie lake

Common Tern hovering in flight over a prairie lake

Alberta farmland under stormy skies at sunset

Alberta farmland under stormy skies at sunset

Brewer's Blackbird on a Barbed wire fence post, Alberta Canada

Brewer’s Blackbird on a Barbed wire fence post, Alberta Canada

Juvenile Brown-headed Cowbird on a country road, Alberta Canada

Juvenile Brown-headed Cowbird on a country road, Alberta Canada

Marbled Godwit feeding on the shores of a prairie wetland, Alberta Canada

Marbled Godwit feeding on the shores of a prairie wetland, Alberta Canada

Wilson's Phalarope feeding on a prairie lake, Alberta Canada

Wilson’s Phalarope feeding on a prairie lake, Alberta Canada

American Coot feeding young chicks on a prairie lake, Alberta Canada

American Coot feeding young chicks on a prairie lake, Alberta Canada

Ruddy Duck swimming in a prairie pond, Alberta, Canada

Ruddy Duck swimming in a prairie pond, Alberta, Canada

American Coot (Fulica americana)

American Coot (Fulica americana)

Barn Swallow Perched on a sign, Alberta Canada

Barn Swallow Perched on a sign, Alberta Canada

Eared Grebe with young on a prairie lake, Alberta Canada

Eared Grebe with young on a prairie lake, Alberta Canada

Western Grebe swimming in a prairie lake, Alberta Canada

Western Grebe swimming in a prairie lake, Alberta Canada

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Frank Lake

I spent another great afternoon out at Frank Lake photographing birds…

The Black-Crowned Night Herons and Western Grebes were the definite highlights of the day.

Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa) Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa) American Avocets

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