Mergansers Arrive!

The first fall migrants have arrived. Today (10/28), I spotted three hooded mergansers, two female and one male, on the far side of the wetlands. One or two typically show up during the last week in October, sometimes a week or so earlier, but certainly by the first week in November. As in other years, the mergs usually get right down to the business of pair bonding upon arrival in their winter quarters. As other males arrive, and should theyRead more

Waterfowl

  The waterfowl situation here at the Museum has been sketchy as of late. With the shallow water being frozen at least some of the early morning hours, the groups of mergansers that we experienced earlier in the season have disappeared. They’ve apparently found better ponds and lakes to catch fish and socialize. Two mergansers, however, seem loyal to our site. It’s difficult to determine if the pair is indeed the same two mergs that I regularly see here inRead more

Waterfowl Update

The mergansers that had been occupying our Wetlands disappeared for four or five days, only one or two being seen on any given day. They now seem to come and go; one day they’re here, the next they’re not. However, I’ve not see their numbers approach the 30 plus of a several weeks ago. I now see anywhere from 10 to 12 at a time.     Another duck species which has returned is the bufflehead. One arrived last NovemberRead more

Mallards, sort of

Besides the hooded mergansers and buffleheads swimming around our Wetlands, an old familiar male mallard has stopped in, with a different female than I’d seen him with previously.       I know this is the same drake mallard because of his plumage, he is not pure mallard. This drake has some domestic duck mixed in. The fact is, there are probably few pure mallards in our area although their plumage may or may not appear to be purebred mallard.Read more

Visitors

There’s a Great Egret dead center in the above photo. Great Egrets are infrequent visitors here at the Museum. I believe the last one that I saw here was in 2012 during the August heat. Most sightings are during the winter, however. The winter of 2011/2012 was busy with herons and egrets. A Great Egret and an “outsider” Great Blue Heron worried our local Great Blue to a frazzle for most of that winter until they nearly exhausted the supplyRead more

Out and About

Among other creatures out and about this past week were a late season dragonfly, basking turtles, basking bullfrogs, and basking mergansers. And finally… There’s much going on out in the Wild, come on out and see what you can find.  Read more

Seasonal Firsts and other Exciting News

For the last month we’ve had a trio of mallards staying with us. Mallards are nothing unusual anywhere in North America but we haven’t attracted many here in our wetland over the past several years. The current trio, two drakes and a duck, have been foraging heavily. One day I noticed them intently digging and mucky around in the swamp across from the Main Wetlands Overlook, between the overlook and the Black Bear Compound. The mallards were probing the mud and leavesRead more

The Grebe(s)

On the morning of September 26th, while walking along the boardwalk in Explore the Wild, I noticed a small brown, duck-like bird floating on the still, dark water. The bird was midway across the water but I knew almost immediately what it was. It was a grebe. A quick look through my binoculars verified that it was a Pied-billed Grebe. The bird was busily diving for fish, had something in its bill, and was thrashing it about in the water.Read more