Monday, April 29, 2013

Lake Hiawatha

Common Loon
 So after a very long winter this weekend's weather was almost perfect, at least on my scale. We had mostly sunny days with highs in the lower to mid seventies. Since it is almost May I went out to a few of my favorite places to see if I could find some early warblers. The only warblers that I found were yellow rumps but I did find a lot of the migrating waterfowl was still around. Most of the time they would have moved on by now but because of our longer then normal winter many of the lakes up north still have ice on them. So many of the migrating waterfowl are holding tight until things get better up north.
Horned Grebe
The best place that I found for photographing migrating waterfowl was Lake Hiawatha. This lake in south Minneapolis is one of several that is fed from Minnehaha creak. Since it is smaller then many of the other lakes around, it is usually where the ice melts first. This open water attracts migrating waterfowl who stop to feed on fish from the lake including northern pike, walleye and large mouthed bass. In 1922 when the lake property was purchased by the City of Minneapolis, Lake Hiawatha was just a swamp but the city transformed it over a number of years into a beautiful lake surrounded by a park and golf course. This year the lake had a number of common loons which is not uncommon but there was also a number of horned grebe in their breeding plumage. I took advantage of the rare opportunity to get a lot of horned grebe pics before they head up to their breeding grounds up in Canada. I also spotted bufflehead, common, hooded, and red-breasted mergansers, pied-billed grebe and numerous species of ducks. There was also a few eagles that circled above the lake for a few minutes and osprey diving into the lake after fish.

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