The Geese Are Back

Each February, sometimes as early as late January, two geese fly into our wetlands. It’s the same pair each year. This year, it happened to be the last week of January when they showed up. How do I know they’re the same geese. I don’t know with absolute certainty. But, the female of the two has a gray or whitish eye-ring. Most Canada geese do not have an eye-ring (it’s black, and since the feathers surrounding the eye are blackRead more

Contrasts

On Friday last, the sun was shining brightly, the temperature was in the sixties, geese were peacefully tipping up, and aquatic turtles were basking in the warmth of the day. It was a delightful day. The following morning, cold rain and snow! What a difference a day makes.  Read more

Mergs and other Birds

On Wednesday (11/3) there were four Hooded Mergansers in the Wetlands, two males and two females. A group of 8-9 Canada Geese dropped in for a few hours on Wednesday as well. Although these geese are of a non-migratory population, they’re usually absent during the summer months, returning in November. And, speaking of mutt ducks… There were many Yellow-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets working over the Mimosas next to the mid-way landing on the boardwalk Wednesday (11/3). Seen this pastRead more

A Few Migrants and Local Family Groups

After being absent for nearly 3 months, 14 Canada Geese flew into the Wetlands, looked around some, fed, and then preened for several hours before taking flight for points unknown. The geese looked to be a family group (probably two families) as the bulk of them appeared to be young birds, perhaps on their first flight away from wherever it was they were hatched. At least four Mallards remain in the Wetlands. These birds are most certainly a family group, although theRead more

Nuthatch Landlords? Hollies under Assault?

There are still two pairs of Hooded Mergansers present in the Wetlands. There is one pair of Canada Geese present. Red-tailed Hawks continue to be seen daily and Cooper’s Hawks have been noticed flying and perching in the vicinity of the previous year’s nest site. And, as mentioned above, Red-shouldered Hawks are once again showing up in the Wetlands. Eastern Phoebes are calling regularly in and around the Wetlands. Phoebes nest on ledges. I’ve witnessed the birds investigating potential nestRead more

There’s Always the Birds…

With the low temperatures of the 15th-18th of this month, the Wetlands iced over enough to force the Hooded Mergansers to take flight and seek bigger water where they could swim and dive for fish. One merganser returned on January 24 and four were in attendance on the 29th of the month. Canada Geese remained as long as there were small pockets of open water. They too finally departed as snow and more cold weather moved in on the 21stRead more

Mergs Return, Heron Fishing Strategy

Having been absent from the Wetlands since the third week of March, Hooded Mergansers have returned. Three males and two females were first seen swimming and diving in the Wetlands on 12 November. If you’re not exactly sure of what a Hooded Merganser is, there’s a photo at left. To see a brief video of both a male and female of this attractive fish eating duck, go to: http://grdodge.com/gdonline.htm and click on “Hooded Merganser.” With the arrival of the mergansers,Read more

Blue Jays Hoard, Butter-Butts Swarm

Mallards are back in the Wetlands. Three Mutt Ducks (Mallard x Domestic) and eight or so “normal” Mallards have been feeding and resting in the quiet water and under the Willow Trees. Canada Geese are paying regular visits to the Wetlands. For nearly a week after the passage of the cold front that moved through on the 18th/19th of October the skies were mostly clear with high cirrus clouds making it easy to pick out high flying birds. The 18thRead more

Some Bird Movement

The Mallards which had so discreetly nested in the Wetlands (Explore the Wild Journal, June 16-30) are being seen daily in front of the Wetlands Overlook. It appears that all 7 ducklings survived to adulthood. Canada Geese have returned to the Wetlands after a two-month absence. On August 23 I saw a Northern Waterthrush walking on plant debris in the water among the fading Lotus plants in the Wetlands. The small, olive-brown-backed warbler with dark streaks on its undersides bouncedRead more