2010.10.179 - Warning: Cuteness Quotient Exceeded

Louise and I wheeled our kayaks down the hill for a quick Sunday paddle up The Gorge this morning.
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Our plan was to go into Portage Inlet and discover if the swans we saw nesting last month have had their eggs hatch yet, and discover if there were any little baby swans swimming around.
But first, only minutes after we put in, this heron posed for us.
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A few minutes later, we saw our first signs that were baby birds around. You can see a the back of a baby goose as it has its head down in the lawn.
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We passed another heron. No, he's not drunk -- he's hunting. Some birds with eyes on either side on their head turn their head to one side if they are intently watching something. In his case, he was intently watching his breakfast-to-be.
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In Portage Inlet, we passed by the nesting swans. Mom was still hunkered down while dad kept watch, so not much change from when we last checked in with them a month ago. It's possible the chicks had hatched and were under mom, but clearly this was something that we were not going to try to find out.
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But we were starting to wonder about the geese. Last year by this time we had seen tons of baby geese but with the exception of our sighting earlier in the paddle, we hadn't seen any at all this year. We've seen the occasional one doing yoga...
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...but so far very babies. We were wondering if the late spring had had some effect on goose birth rates, but we soon realized we had nothing to worry about. We paddled into a small estuary...
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...and found where the baby geese were.
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It looked like lots of baby geese were around, and some baby ducks as well. Better still, we didn't spot any eagles, which sucked for me as an amateur photographer, but was good news for all the feathered families in the estuary.

Then we passed by another heron.
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But was it really a different heron? Heck, for all I know it could have been the same heron following us the whole day!

Finally we discovered this seagull, who clearly wanted to be the captain of his own destiny. Either that or he was tired of flying.
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2010-05-16 The Gorge
Trip length: 9.15 km
YTD: 73.11
More pictures are here.
The Google Earth kmz is here.

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