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Stow Lake Walk (with Birds)

June 9, 2014

A few days ago, we went for a walk to Stow Lake. Golden Gate Park is so near Forest Knolls that the outing needs no planning – jump in the car and in ten minutes you’re there.  On this warm Friday afternoon, it was crowded in a pleasant way with both with people and with birds. I have a new camera (I’m back to a Nikon Coolpix – wasn’t that happy with my Canon)and wanted to see what a pocket camera could do for bird pictures. It felt like the birds were less shy than usual, or maybe the crowd just provided a distraction so any one person didn’t bother them.

night heron holds a pose 1

Night heron holds a pose

This night heron was hanging out near the water. This is the same species as the baby birds in the trees that were trimmed in Berkeley.  (Those have, happily,  been saved. Some day, they’ll be handsome adults like this one.)

redwinged blackbird foraging

Redwinged blackbird foraging

I also saw more red-winged blackbirds than usual, and this one was so busy eating seeds near the path that it waited to the last minute to fly away – and came back the minute we’d passed by.

seven half-grown ducklings still hang out with mom

Seven half-grown ducklings still hang out with mom

These half-grown ducklings had outgrown the brown fuzzy stage, but still attracted attention of adults and kids alike.

baby geese sleep while adults stand guard

Baby geese sleep while adults stand guard

The Canada geese had young ones, too. I love how they always have a couple of geese on guard while the flock feeds, or in this case, sleeps.

blurry pic of male wood duck

Male wood duck, Stow Lake, June 2014

There was a dramatic and handsome male Wood Duck. I looked at my bird book when I got back, and realized I’d seen him (or maybe another like him) almost exactly a year ago.  The picture I got was blurry, but I’m posting it here anyway. At least it’s recognizably a wood duck!  I didn’t see a female. Some years ago, I did see a female wood duck at Stow Lake, but she was hanging out with a duck of a different species.

hunting robin

American Robin listening for food

This American robin was apparently hunting.

muscovy bedtime

Muscovy bedtime

By the time we finished our walk, the Muscovy ducks had decided to call it a day. They were sleeping under a bush But the night herons were alert.  As we prepared to leave, this guy stood like a statue on the boathouse .

Night heron posing 2

Night heron, Stow Lake June 2014

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ambi V permalink
    June 9, 2014 9:29 pm

    Good pictures

    [Webmaster: Thanks!]

  2. Daniel Cheng permalink
    January 22, 2017 5:51 pm

    I was at Stow Lake today 1/22/17 and saw the resident female Mandarin duck. A local gentle mention to me that the duck is a resident year round and that she had her wings clipped thus cannot fly. I’ve been told that this bird was a regular at Stow Lake. Another regular walker told me me that they suspect the duck was a household pet at one time, since Mandarins are not native to the U.S.

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