Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Canada Geese at Lake Eugenia

The largest lake near the upper Beaver Valley is Lake Eugenia, a man-made lake created 100 years ago when a dam was built on the Beaver River to provide water supply to a hydro plant located at the bottom of the valley.  At this time of year the ice starts to break up and migrating waterfowl drop in for a visit.

I dropped by the other day because last year we saw swans here, but today there was nothing but Canada Geese and a few ducks and gulls.  There were lots of geese along the old river channel where the water flows first in the spring.  Most of the lake is drained to a low water level over the winter to allow for spring run-off to fill it again.

The lake is quite large for inland southern Ontario, about  3 x 4 km, with a very winding shoreline.  Now it is almost totally surrounded by private cottages, but there is a causeway cutting off the south end which has a more marsh-like shoreline, and it's from the causeway that you can view the birds (and where I took these pictures).  This view looks north, the length of the lake.

This view looks south, where the stumps sit closer to the surface, and boating in the summer gets more hazardous.  At the far end here the stumps stick above water even when the lake is full; at the moment there is little water outside the old Beaver River channel.

We've canoed around parts of the lake more than once, and I hope to go back and explore the marsh at the south end this summer.  This is a western corner where there seems to be another old creek channel carrying spring flow.  The main body of ice is breaking up though, and parts of the lake will soon be open if this weather continues.

Meanwhile, the Canada Geese sit on the ice and wait, several of the geese in this picture standing on one leg and apparently asleep.  Only two ducks, mallards, in the lower left.  For us, although there's a certain northern mystique to a flock of geese flying honking overhead, Canada Geese are a nuisance bird, badly over-populated in urban areas, making a mess of waterfront parks.  At least here they're in a more natural setting.

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  1. Pretty shots of the open water with the ice! I guess the ducks and geese do not mind being on the ice. Wonderful series!

  2. Stunning, and your words add so much to this super photo story. I guess their feet are impervious to the freezing ice. Cheers, Jean.

  3. It does look better to have them in a natural setting like that as opposed to the urban environment.

    Thus far we have yet to see them.

  4. Pretty lake photos - such nice blue water. I'll bet this place is nice in the summer too.

  5. Very pretty there! I know what you mean about Geese being messy. I've stepped in Goose poop more than once!

  6. Enjoyed these series of pictures.
    Very pretty.

  7. Beautiful if rather chilly images. The reason that geese produce such prodigious quantities of green poo, incidentally, is because they eat so much grass, a food which their stomachs are not designed to digest. In order to get any sustenance from it they have to eat (and defecate) a great deal.

  8. Wonderful habitat and I would love to explore there. The geese are returning to our pond as well.... Michelle

  9. We had about two weeks here where our section of the Delaware River was teeming with Canada geese, and do they make a racket! But then they continued on their journey northward.