Around the yard

by John Briggs on March 17, 2009

in Bird Photographs, Blog

Ice breaking up in the cove

Ice breaking up in the cove

Ever so slowly, more and more patches of water are showing up in the cove. At each rise and fall of the tide ice is being heaved and broken up, groaning and creaking as if some unseen sea monster is trying to break through. The night time popping and cracking is unnerving while trying to sleep.

What this brings to our little corner of the world is waterfowl, ducks, quackers, etc. Movement of Canada Geese, Black Ducks, Mallards, Bufflehead, Goldeneyes, Common, Red-breasted and Hooded Mergansers is picking up. And as these ducks congregate in the open pools of water, they get closer and closer to our yard. As I write this, a pair of Black Ducks are in a hole in the ice no larger than 2 feet across and only 10 feet off our back yard.

Yesterday, three male and 4 female Common Merganser were diving in a channel in the ice, but just a tad too far out to get good photos. As most of you already know, I received a blind for Christmas. Soon, it’s going to be put to good use. I plan to set it up at the bottom of our yard on the edge of the water and wait for these beautiful ducks to float on by. That is as soon as the ice goes away. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Mallards will nest again in the reeds just below the crab apple tree.

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

I was out in the yard today trudging through the snow surveying the damage from old man winter. Tree limbs are everywhere. But the bright light at the end of the tunnel is patches of bare ground creeping up here and there. It seems as if the last time I saw bare ground was back in November!

The sweet music of birds filled the air. I heard countless Song Sparrows singing their melodies. Cardinals and Titmice were singing their hearts out. Several Chickadees were filling the air with their “Chicka-dee-dee-dee-dee; fee-beee” calls. A flock of Red-winged Blackbirds flew across the cove, while Dark-eyed Juncos and Tree Sparrows busied themselves in the ground feeders. Nuthatches could be heard calling in the spruce trees at the east end of the yard. WOW! It felt wonderful seeing and hearing all this activity!

The official start of spring is Friday March 20, 2009 at 7:44 am EDT. This is not to say that the snow is finished. We may get a few more snowstorms, but what falls will not last long as the sun light gets stronger and stronger everyday.

I leave you with a few photos taken this week of some of the beautiful birds that have visited our yard. Also included, a critter and more scenery. As always, clicking a thumbnail will enlarge to full size.

Happy birding!

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