Sunday, June 08, 2014

Looking For Baby Swans


A warm sunny morning greeted Louise and I as we rolled our kayaks down the hill for a paddle. The object of today's paddle was our annual pilgrimage up The Gorge to look for baby swans. There's two local swan couples, one in The Gorge that have lived there for a couple of years, and another couple in Portage Inlet that have been there for at least six or seven years. So be warned; there's possibly lots of cute feathered goodness ahead in this post.

First, we noticed a heron preening in the morning sun near our launch point.
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We kayaked by the first swan nest. Mom was sitting on the nest, and there was no sign of baby swans. Or dad for that matter. We'd thought we might have seen mom and some babies a few days ago from a distance when we were on a walk, but we really weren't sure. And with the the high grasses, mom could be hiding almost anything in there. But if she had any baby swans in there, we saw no sign of them today.
A few minutes later we spotted dad out for his Sunday morning walk, er, swim.
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Soon, we paddled by some geese and clearly they had had some luck on the baby front.
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Another heron was fishing for breakfast.

Then we headed for our first trip under the new Craigflower Bridge after its official opening a few weeks ago.
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This fancy new bridge replaces an 80 year-old bridge that looked like this:
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Going under the bridge moves you from The Gorge to Portage Inlet and we headed for the nest of the the other swan couple. But disappointingly, there was no sign of them. The beach area where they've nest for years looked undisturbed, so we wonder if they are still around. Perhaps they've moved on.
So, no swan babies. But as we looked in vain for them, we saw a pair of youngish looking herons.
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It was high noon, but low tide and we were getting stuck in the mud and silt botton of the Inlet. Time to head back.
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Trip length: 6.83 km
YTD: 25.58 km
More pictures are here.
2014-06-08 The Gorge

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