A beautiful day for a walk in the park. 

Thursday April 02, 2015.

Swan Lake Village area,
Markham, Ontario

Spring is finally here and soon the ice will be out of the lake. The next 4 weeks are probably the best time of the year to walk around the lake. The air is cold and clear, migrating birds are stopping in the park on their way north. There are no leaves on the trees yet, although most of them are budding, so it is very easy to see these birds in the trees.

Swan Lake Park - March 29, 2015

The East Pond
Most of the snow is gone and the ice is starting to melt as the temperatures rise.

Red-winged Blackbird
Sitting in a tree beside the path between the East Pond and Swan Lake.

Herring Gull
Snapped this picture as it glided through the small trees beside the lake.
There seem to be a small group of Herring Gulls migrating through the area as they wait to move north to their summer breeding grounds
This Gull is a bit larger than the Ring-billed Gull that we normally see on the lake and as you can see, it does not have the black ring on its bill.

Milkweed pod
You can still see the silk inside the milkweed. This plant is extremely important to the Monarch Butterfly and a decline in the number Milkweed plants has contributed to a sharp decline in the Monarch butterfly population.

Ring-billed Gull
Flying over the Pier.

Swan Lake Park - April 1st, 2015

Mallard Duck
This male was in a group of 3 mallards and a couple of Canada Geese that were enjoying the open water in the East Pond. About 10 percent of the East Pond is open water now. Between the warmer temperatures and the rain I expect it will be ice free by the end of the weekend.

Canada Geese
A pair of Canada Geese beside the landing below the Swan Club.
Swan Lake is still frozen over but there is some open water along the shoreline.

Ring-billed Gull
Standing on the Swan Lake Ice and enjoying the Sunshine.

Another shot of the Ring-billed Gull.

In flight over the lake.

Swan Lake
The North East shoreline. Many of the Geese and Gulls are gathering near the small areas of open water where they can wash and occasionally find something to eat.

The appearance of Robin Red Breast is usually taken as a sign that spring is finally here.

One of my neighbours gives a boot to winter and brings in the spring flowers.

Swan Lake Park - April 2nd, 2015

Canada Geese
Love is in the air and the water too. These two found some open water beside the Pier and proceeded to go through the courting ritual
which involves both of them rapidly plunging their heads under the water.

Trumpeter Swan
Some residents of the village have seen Trumpeter Swans landing on the lake recently. I found this one beside the Island near the pier and it was actively breaking the ice to enlarge what was a very small area of open water. It appeared to be looking for food under the water and I saw it find things a couple of times. The ice must be very thin for the Swan to be able to break it.

Here it is breaking the ice with it's bill.

Link to list of all "A beautiful day for a walk in the park." 

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Email: Donald Fowler (fowler@bluenose.ca)