20 April 2019

Frank Lake Weasel

Frank Lake 18 April 2019
Well Spring has sprung around here, for the moment anyway, and with fair weather holding I took a drive out to Frank Lake. Frank Lake is a large swamp, aka wetlands, East of the town of High River, Alberta on Highway #23. A very large population of birds call this area home. I am not a birdwatcher, however, a day out to snap a few photos of whatever scenery or wildlife I might capture was enough reward to get me out into the sunshine. There were a few vehicles and a few more people out at the Frank Lake Bird Observation Blind parking area. No school groups or Scouts groups today.
Beady Eyes of a Long Tail Weasel at Frank Lake
Shallow Waters Near the Frank Lake Bird Observation Blind

Weasel at Frank Lake 18 April 2019
There were not millions of birds in the area, but there were enough to keep those with cameras happy. I had no expectation of what I might see, so, I could not be disappointed. I had seen a Great Blue Heron on a small slough close to home a week ago, so who knows what I might see at Frank Lake.

Close to the parking area, near the path that led to the observation blind I saw many shore birds wading in the shallows near shore. A big, fat Muskrat was swimming under the boardwalk leading to the observation blind, occasionally, swimming out into open water. 
In the reeds near the boardwalk, you could hear the ducks of some variety paddling about. I did snap a pic of a Black Scoter, and if that is not what it is, remember I am not a birdwatcher by trade. Red-wing Blackbirds, Geese and Herring Gulls also inhabited the area.
Weasel Changing To Summer Colours, Frank Lake 2019
While walking towards the water inlet, I took a few moments to see if anything would swim close to shore to photograph. While sitting on a rock on shore, I looked over my right shoulder and a pair of beady eyes stared back at me. Carefully, I swung my camera inland. And the head holding those beady eyes poked up over the bank 20 feet away, again. It was a member of the weasel family. The gophers nearby were chirping away, obviously, unhappy with this unwanted neighbour. 

Weasel Playing in the Grass at Frank Lake 18 April 2019
I have not had a camera handy the few times I have seen a weasel in the wild, so I endeavoured to snap as many pictures as I could. I was not aware that weasels called Frank Lake home. 

Without, a massive zoom lens for my camera I was limited to what detail I could get in my photos. Thankfully, once cropped this little fellow shows up pretty well. With the dark patch on the back of the neck, I assume, this little weasel is changing from winter colours to summer colours. It did have a black-tipped tail and the tail was almost as long as the head and body. My online search leads me to believe this is a Long-Tail Weasel. A species native to Alberta. 

I followed the weasel for about 15 minutes as it bound across the prairie. I watched as it chased a flock of Herring Gulls to flight near the water inlet. I am sure with so many birds in the area, there must be a few nests with eggs for the weasel to steal. The last I saw, the weasel was leaping and bounding across the prairie stirring up the gophers. 

Until next time....Get out and bring your camera!!


Possible Black Scoter in the Reeds of Frank Lake
Weasel at Frank Lake 18 April 2019

Pretty Sure This is a Long Tail Weasel at Frank Lake 18 April 2019

Weasel at Frank Lake 18 April 2019

Weasel at Frank Lake

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