Oak Hammock Marsh on a Cool & Windy Day

I haven’t been to Oak Hammock Marsh in many years.  The last few times were only because the parrot club was having a display there and as a member, I would take some of my birds out to take part.  The club still has displays there, but I haven’t had any birds for several years now and I am no longer a member because of that.  It is about a 1/2 hour drive to get there from the north end of the city, but since I live in the south end, it is a little longer.

My plan was to take out a membership, which is only $25. for a year for a senior and I would add this as one of my places to visit to take pictures.

The day didn’t get off to a great start though and this scene will haunt me for awhile.  I wasn’t far from home when I saw a White-tail Deer come out to the street and start running.  She was on the opposite side of the street, but I automatically slowed down – as I would for any critter (dog/cat/deer/child) since they can be unpredictable, especially when spooked, as this deer was.  Unfortunately, a lady going the opposite direction and who was very close to the deer, wasn’t about to vary her speed and as the deer ran in front of her, she hit it.  Due to the speed, the deer went up in the air above the car and landed onto the road with a thud.  If I had left home 5 minutes earlier, I would have missed seeing this.  It still would have happened, but at least I wouldn’t have seen it.

There was nothing I could do, so I continued on my way.  Some time in nature was suddenly even more necessary to clear the head.

First sightings were just before the marsh.

After arrival, I purchased my membership and began walking and taking pictures.

While on observation deck, I saw flocks of geese flying towards me, so I started snapping pictures.  Some were dark and some were white, so I assumed it was a mixed flock of Canada Geese and Snow Geese, but once I got home and looked at the pictures, I realized that none of them were Canada Geese.  I looked online and saw there is a blue phase of Snow Geese, so that is what the dark ones must be.

Views from the observation deck, showing the grass roofs as well as some of the size of the marsh.

I then left the building area and drove to the north of the Marsh, where I could park the car and explore a bit.  I found one little bird that I had no idea what it was, but luckily an expert in the Manitoba Birds FaceBook page knew it was a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  The female doesn’t have the ruby crown, so I never would have guessed.  I knew the next bird was a Junco, but wasn’t prepared for the brown on it’s body (once I looked at the pictures) – I only remember seeing all grey ones before.

Then, I found some flying Canada Geese so I could practice flight shots.

A hawk flew by and I was happy when checking the pictures to see that they were good enough to identify him as a Northern Harrier.  This was confirmed from another expert on the same FaceBook page.

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One last critter on the way out before I headed for home.  It is a Woolly Bear Caterpillar.

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