It’s cold outside! The water of the Wetlands is frozen clear across the pond.
The Hooded Mergansers have taken flight for larger bodies of water. I’ve seen the Belted Kingfisher fly in each day to inspect the pond for open water only to leave frustrated, its loud, raucous rattle filling the frigid air. The Great Blue Heron has stuck it out, staying on the fringes of the pond where it might find a small patch of open water. Is there any open water, any food left to be had by the kingfisher and the heron?
Halfway between the end of the boardwalk and the main Wetlands Overlook there is a very small bit of water which is not frozen. There’s a pipe just below the surface which drains the area above and across the path from this little patch of the Wetlands. There are hundreds of tadpoles in this tiny piece of water, Bullfrog tadpoles!
The water at times boils with the tadpoles as they swim about and surface for a swallow of air. Being bullfrog tadpoles, they take at least a year to morph into frogs, and they overwinter as tadpoles. Some are eaten by the local kingfisher, herons, and mergansers, when they can get to them.
Brave the cold and stop by to give a look at the tadpoles. You may see me out there watching them.