Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bass Ponds

After birding Black Dog Lake and Old Cedar Avenue Bridge last weekend I moved on to check out the Bass Ponds. Normally I would have kept my truck at the Old Cedar Ave Bridge parking lot and just walked to the bass Ponds from there, both are part of the same unit of the Minnesota valley NWR, but they currently have the path that connects them closed, due to construction. There is a pond that is between the bridge and the bass Ponds that is a holding pond for the city of Bloomington. They decided to enlarge it earlier this year. It was supposed to be completed by March 15th but here it is after April 15th and it is still closed. which is really depressing because that area was always good for finding butterflies and dragonflies and if it is not done soon I think that it will be pretty empty this year.
Down in the trees that line the path that over looks the river overflow I did manage to find an eastern phoebe.
Usually phoebes dart around in the trees and are difficult to photograph but this one was a bit more cooperative and perched in a small tree on the side of one of the open ponds.
In the marshy area, just below the hill that leads to the parking lot, there was a northern shoveler out sifting for food in the shallow waters.
In the small pond that is filled by a run off pipe, a great blue heron was fishing for its breakfast.
Fortunately it would not be going hungry that morning.
I was hoping that I could photograph it getting another fish but then some dog walkers came down the path towards it and it flushed. That morning I also saw some great egrets, mallards, Canadian geese, trumpeter swans, and kinglets and the Bass Ponds.

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