I was planning to go to UBC today. But with the heavy workload this past week, I kind of slept in and didn't woke up until around 10am. So I decided to check out the local nature scenes here in Richmond instead.
I encountered these two moths when I walked out of the apartment door. Beautiful creatures when you looked at them up close. I had asked for help at bugguide.
The first spot that I checked out was Minoru Park which homes many waterfowls this fall, such as these Canadian Geese, Mallards, and Wigeons.
One sad scene at the park was seeing this deceased duck lying on the surface of the water, a casualty of the not yet arrived harsh seasons ahead. Not sure what the cause of death is but I sure hope it is not due to some diseases and that the city people come remove it soon (so that it won't contaminate the water). R.I.P.
I saw about five rabbits in the park today, which was more than last time that I was here. I don't have a good feeling about this whole situation. Sure they are cute, but I don't think overpopulation of another species (besides humans here in Richmond) will be welcomed.
To take my mind off these depressing issues that I saw in the park, I decided to pay attention to the beautiful and cheerful colours in the park.
Then I saw this pretty ladybug, but it was hiding in the shade so I nudged it to get it to move to a brighter spot. I accidentally flipped too hard and it flipped over so I quickly returned it to the more comfortable position.
Afterwards, I walked from Minoru Park to the community park in Garden City to check out the Hooded Mergansers that Hugh of Rock Paper Lizard observed - which I don't think I have ever seen one before.
Before I get to the Hooded Mergansers, I did saw some interesting things there, such as: these horny flies; playful wren (?); a lady bug underneath the leaf litter that I almost stepped on; and these tired-looking Canada Geese.
There were also many fungi here in the community park. I never noticed them before, but Richmond does have many fungi in the fall.
There were also these mysterious cream puff look-alike fungi?
Now, I finally got to the Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus)! These birds are fish-eaters and nest in tree cavities just like the Wood Ducks. The male can be identified by its black and white crest while the female has a grayish brown and shorter crest. They dive underwater to find food, and they can do so because they can change the optical refractive properties to enhance their underwater vision, as well as having a third eyelid (called nictating membrane) to act as a pair of goggles for eye protection.
I saw two males and one female in the main body of the "lake" and they were so far away (with my camera) that I decided to walked around the park one last time before heading home. But then I observed two females in an isolated and smaller "pond" at the outer edge of the park (and right across from residential areas too). Being in a smaller space, I ran back and forth as they dive away from me so that I can take some up-close pictures - which didn't turn as good as I hoped. I noticed the crest falling whenever they came right out of the water but then the crest raised right back up, it must be cool to have waterproofed "hair". My mom says they look like Marge of The Simpsons, but I don't really see the similarity, perhaps when Marge is dressed up for Halloween.
And then it was time to go home.