Nature in the City – birds along the edge of ice

Posted by on 30. April 2013 in Blog / Journal, Photography | Comments Off on Nature in the City – birds along the edge of ice

I can not believe that we have had winter conditions in Saskatoon for over 6 months. This is the longest period of continuous snow cover that I can remember.

Finally, we experienced a day or two of warm weather last week and the ice cover on South Saskatchewan River started to rapidly melt away. I decided to walk along the river bank and try to photograph birds that started to congregate along the ice edge. My goal was to capture interesting patterns including birds at the edge of flowing river and ice. This is not my usual photography taken at the edge of daylight  – sunrise & sunsets. Rather, the edge here is a physical interface between two forms of water.

Here are a few images from last week; they were taken in preparation for a series of public presentations that I will be giving during the NatureCity Festival at the end of May of this year.

Two Canada Geese by the edge of ice on South Saskatchewan River

Two Canada Geese by the edge of ice on South Saskatchewan River

 

Canada goose and gulls at the ice edge. South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon.

Flying goose, gulls, and the spring ice thaw

 

Two gulls at the edge of  ice. South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon

On the edge. South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon

I was intrigued by the large flock of gulls resting and preening on the ice and took several photographs with a 400 mm lens and later combined them into a panorama composite image. One crop from those large panorama shots is shown below.

Gulls resting on ice - South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon

Gulls resting on ice – South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon

 

I am glad that I did get out as the river ice completely melted away by Thursday, April 25th. For people who keep an eye on freeze / thaw dates of lakes and rivers (like participants in the IceWatch program), the South Saskatchewan River thaws a bit earlier along the section that flows through the city. This un-natural phenomenon occurs  thanks to the incredibly wasteful habit of cooling the Saskatoon Power Plant with water drawn from the river (instead of using that energy to heat homes).

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