Wednesday in Ospreyland and elsewhere

The water on the lake is very smooth today. Strangely there were no gulls, only one Cormorant fishing, and a lone duck. The bison were not in their enclosure but the sky was the most beautiful blue and the Aspen trees are nothing short of gorgeous. It was a good day. I also learned a lot by plunking myself down and talking to the chap that runs the Nature Centre. So first with the terrible photos. The blame is on my ‘finger’. The setting on the camera was definitely not where it should have been.

This cormorant was rather amazing. He dove into the water and came up about 15 metres from where he went under – but not for several minutes. Incredible. I hope he found a fish for his efforts.

Feel free to help me identify this duck. I have three bird books in front of me and none of the descriptions fit this one. Ideas? I was told that there is a duck that should not be here but should be in British Columbia. I wonder if this is it?

The fawn was not going to cooperate! And why should it? But I do wish it would have turned and smiled.

Driving through the hills and gravel roads is such a change from the urban asphalt. These colours were stunning and changed from area to area in the park.

The national parks in Western Canada from 1915-1946 were built in part by some ten thousand foreigners, the unemployed, the homeless, conscientious objectors, and people deemed to be enemies of the state. I understand that they were not criminals but were perceived, at the time – during the Depression and the wars – to be persons who might cause civil unrest.

Four hundred and forty German POWs worked at Riding Mountain National Park. They were originally in detainment camps in Alberta that were crowded. They volunteered to come to Manitoba and work in the forests cutting wood. Each man’s quota was 3/4 of a cord of wood a day. Their camp was at Clearwater Lake. There were no fences and no barricades. In conversations with staff at the park, it was known that the men would often sneak out of camp and go to dances in some of the small towns. No one seemed to mind. They would be back in the POW camp in the morning for the roll call.

The men worked eight hour days. There was not a lot to keep them busy. They began wood carving. Many made dug out canoes from the large spruce trees in the forest. They raised pigs and grew vegetables in their gardens. They also caught a bear and tamed it and it became the camp mascot.

A number of the men returned to visit Riding Mountain on the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII. It is totally fascinating – a part of the history of my province that I did not know.

Times have certainly changed. Look at the old canvas tent and the chairs. I love the moose calves. Not sure the rangers would like to see this happen today! I can’t wait to learn more about this beautiful area where I live.

This is a short video about the POWs and their role at the park.

Now to turn our minds back to the birds for a moment. The sun is just rising over the water at Port Lincoln, Australia. It is kissing the back of our Osprey mum with its golden rays.

Six or seven hours after the third Osplet hatched, it was holding its head high wanting some fish.

I am not quite sure where it is during this feeding! It will be a scramble but hatching out of that egg took a lot of energy and many do not even eat the first 24 hours. I have a feeling that this little one is strong. Let us all hope so and send good wishes down to them and their parents. I want to see this nest fledge three this year!

What a beautiful place for an Osprey nest. I hope there are a lot of fish for Dad to bring to the nest. Fingers crossed.

Looks like everything is going well at Port Lincoln. Here is another image of its first feed, less than six hours after hatch. Fantastic.

The researchers and administrators at the Port Lincoln Osprey Project have posted a number of videos on the Port Lincoln FB page. You do not have to be a member of their group to watch them. Check it out!

Thank you for stopping by. I hope to do a full check on all the nests – including returning Bald Eagles – tomorrow night. Take care everyone. Stay safe!

Thank you to the PLO for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

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