There is a small community pond located near my place of work. It is one of many community/urban fisheries managed by the Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) in Utah. This particular pond is called Sandy Urban Fishery, but many local birders refer to it as Sandy Pond. I sometimes visit the pond during my lunch hour to see what birds are on or around the water. Because water in this pond is circulated it generally remains open despite freezing temperatures during winter months. Consequently, it draws birds year round. The DWR stocks many of the community ponds with fish on a regular basis so it is not unusual to see Herons, Pelicans, Cormorants, Gulls, Ducks, Osprey, and more, depending on the season, on or around the ponds.
During a couple of visits in recent days I've noticed a great deal of flapping, scratching, and stretching on and around the pond. The Redhead below appears to be attempting to balance himself and walk on water.
|Flapping Redhead on Sandy Pond Sandy, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)|
That didn't quite work so he decided to scratch his head over the failed attempt. Or could he be tapping on his head to adjust his equilibrium?
|Scratching Redhead on Sandy Pond Sandy, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)|
A shrug of the shoulders seems to bring a little relief to the tension he must be feeling now that he realizes he's being photographed for a crazy birder's blog post.
|Shrugging Redhead on Sandy Pond Sandy, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)|
We have a Great Blue Heron, sporting a funky hairdo, that can almost always be found at the pond. It will either be standing on the small island in the middle of the pond, perched on a fence, or down by the Jordan River across the street from the pond.
|Stretching Great Blue Heron Adult (white crown) at Sandy Pond Sandy, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)|
|Scratching Great Blue Heron at Sandy Pond in Sandy, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)|
|Flapping California Gull at Sandy Pond Sandy, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)|
Below is a flapping female Redhead. It flew by quickly on a rather cloudy day so the lighting was a challenge in terms of capturing motion, but I thought it would make a good comparison to the female Lesser Scaup that did a fly-by today while the sun was doing a better job of lighting the subjects.
|Female Redhead Flying Over Sandy Pond in Sandy, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)|
I love the raptors so I have to include a scratching and stretching Merlin that was recently at the pond to do a little hunting.
|Scratching Merlin at Sandy Pond Sandy, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)|
|Stretching Merlin at Sandy Pond Sandy, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)|