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There is a large person-made pond (they refer to it as a lake) near our house.  It is surrounded on three sides by very large houses.  I shall state here, large doesn’t mean grand, or stunning, or beautiful, or ecologically sound or having architectural merit.  It just means big.  The houses could be all those other things, but sadly, most are not.  Can you spell UGLY.  However, I just look at the pond and ignore the monstrosities.

Today the ice had receded to a small area in the centre of the pond and the usual Mallards, Canada Geese and Ring-Billed Gulls were enjoying the open water.  The surprise was a pair of Horned Grebes (Podiceps auritusyeah I had to look it up).  These are beautiful birds and have the honour of being the first species listed on the second page of Peterson’s field guide to the Birds East of the Rockies. The Loons always get first place, a bit like politics.

Lovely weather for Grebes

Lovely weather for Grebes

These Horned Grebes were a first for me in Winnipeg, so I am posting these photographs even if they are not great.  But I do like the colours and the reflections.

If we keep moving it's harder for him to take our photos - don't look at him.

If we keep moving it’s harder for him to take our photos – don’t look at him.

I was using the Sony HX200v, so focusing when they went in among the branches was frustrating.  They seemed to sense this as they would continually try to keep a few branches between us.

Oh oh, he caught me looking. Don't use the red-eye tool - they are supposed to look like this!

Oh oh, he caught me looking. Don’t use the red-eye tool – they are supposed to look like this!

Just don't call me 'ducks' dear.

Just don’t call me ‘ducks’ dear.

It was a lovely sunny day, bright blue sky and water and such a treat to see the birds swimming, especially these Horned Grebes.  We are planning to get to the real lake on Tuesday (Lake Winnipeg).  With the warm weather arriving I am hoping to get some pictures of the ice chandeliering.  I’ll explain that next week.