Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hooded Mergansers Yesterday

 Hooded Mergansers;I search for them each spring and yesterday I found a pair.  They were not in the usual location where I find them but rather in a roadside small flooded run off near a ditch.  I love the colour and intensity of the golden, yellow eyes of the male. I think these pictures are interesting but they do not reflect the beauty of the male with his beautiful white-patched hood.  The female is usually spectacular with her bad hair






day fluff, however I am sure I will find these beauties in their usual location in a day or two and I shall get more  pictures.  Until then; these photos to enjoy!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Gold in Bird Alley


All winter long the goldfinch have faithfully attended our feeders in Bird Alley.  I like these little birds and now that it is spring I enjoy watching the changes in the colours of the male of this species.  their black caps are in various stages of moult and their feathered bodies are yellowing up to a seasonal gold.  It is fascinating to see the individual changes that have taken




place as they feed on the nyger seed we provide for them.  The pictures included illustrate their spring changes in colour.  Golden sightings daily!

Have a great day everyone!  Today I am continuing my search for a handsome Hooded Merganser.  The pond where I usually find one is water covered but I think the solid ice is still below the surface water.  as the Merganser is a diving fish eating duck the ice must be gone before the duck can fish successfully in this pond.
Interesting in that I have never know the name of the pond where I ;look for these mergansers, however on the weekend I noticed a new sign at the pond, identifying this water body as Monday Brook, so why not find mergansers there today?  Its sounds so appropriate to its naming and I guess I should get a picture of its name also.  I saw a couple of ducks at this brook this morning but it was so foggy I couldn't see them clearly.  However I do not think they were Mergansers.

 

my email  is at:naturetales@yahoo.ca

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Goldeneye for Saturday Critters


 This is such a wonderful time of year!  every day this week I have gone searching, hoping to find those fabulous featured creatures that have returned from migration.  It has been quite a week each day adding to my growing list of sightings!.  the world is full of Robins, they are everywhere!  I have been finding ducks; Wood ducks, Black Ducks and Mallards, Canada Geese! And also the unexpected for this time of year, a Killdeer and a Kestrel, and now the Osprey have returned to our river. I have watched the ice in the river, brooks and ponds break up this week.  and I found my special duck which fills my yearly quest to note its arrival, my favourite diving duck which has a white polka dot on its face!!  Yes, the Goldeneye are back!!!  Today I am linking with Saturday Critters hosted by eileen.  You can find Saturate Critters at
viewingnaturewitheileen.blogspot.ca   
 my email: naturetales@blogspot.ca



Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring Duck Sightings

to me the definition of the arrival of spring has always been signified by the returning of ducks.  Yesterday morning when I left the house I told my husband that I would be back with a picture of a duck, and as the morning developed I was proved right.  I checked my favourite pond at Central Blissville and there was a large pool of water there but no ducks in it, so I continued on to the bridge at Hoyt but before arriving at my destination I spied movement in a small roadside brook.  "Yes!!  I saw a couple of ducks!!  I thought they were Mallards, but I was delighted with the surprise of seeing both; a male Mallard and a male Wood Duck as I downloaded my pictures!! Wow! the Wood Duck sighting was a treasure!



|I then drove on to the bridge at Hoyt where it crosses Back Creek. The river was wide open there but no ducks. However when leaving the bridge I saw  a considerable number of ducks on a large pool of water on the flats at that locationalong the highway, opposite the old Smith barn. The ducks at Hoyt were mainly all Black Ducks and Mallards.  We also saw a Canada Goose at Hoyt.

My surprises weren't all over yet as I drove around the area looking for more birds and I saw one beside another flooding area.  Standing on a mound of earth beside a small stream of water was a Killdeer!!
I was having a wonderful morning!!!!

So, I then returned home with my photographic finds!
We had planned to drive to the Maguerville, Sheffield area for the

afternoon and just as we were leaving the village we saw a magnificent Eagle in flight, but I didn't get its picture!
At Maugerville we found the Saint John River still frozen solid!However we did see a small group of Red-winged Blackbirds along the roadside and a beautiful flock of Canada Geese flying overhead. Later in the afternoon  after  we were back home again, my husband was sure he saw an Osprey flying over the river.  Luckily for the Osprey, our river, the Oromocto, is now open in our area and there is a strong possibility that the Osprey have already returned.  That shall be my focus of today, checking out the Osprey nests here to see if there are any Ospreys on the old nests.
I also am searching for Goldeneye Ducks and Hooded Mergansers.  Isn't spring wonderful?!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Great Blue Herons

Yesterday day morning we started out for the day with the objective of taking our tax information to our accountant at Keswick Valley.  My hope was to perhaps find something interesting to take pictures of.  While driving along highway 101 nearing New Maryland, suddenly I saw a deer standing on the shoulder of the highway, so surprising and startling was the deer that I gasped loudly as my husband braked as quickly as he could and the deer sped into action,  And to my dismay, no picture  was taken... but, thankfully, no accident either as that had been avoided. After arriving at Keswick Valley we decided to drive to Mactaquac and when passing the Keswick Flats , my husband shouted, "Look at all the geese!!  I thought he was joking as the flats there were very snow covered.  I asked, "where?" and he answered, " behind us", I turned and saw a huge flock of geese flying away, high in the sky!  Another good picture missed!!!! I was starting to wonder if that was going to be the theme of my day, missing the potential of good photo opportunities?  But my luck was due to change.  As we were driving along Keswick Ridge, after returning from Mataquac, we saw two beautiful Great Blue Herons flying slowly across the highway in front of us. They looked as if they were gently floating, with their long legs dangling and their claws open as if wanting to grasp something or to find a safe perch.  We watched as we saw them land in a dead tree and I was ready with my 400mm lens on my camera, and following are some of the pictures I was able to get. The heron to the lower right was displaying  its beautiful breeding plumage!  What a wonderful photo opportunity this turned  out to be!!
 



     Heron above displaying breeding plumage



Sunday, April 06, 2014

First sighting of the day


Sitting right under our outdoor thermometer and right beside an empty bird feeder this ring-tailed masked bandit was the first thing I saw in Bird Alley this morning when I looked out to check the early morning temperature around 6 a.m.  I thought it looked rather sweet with an appealing look in its eyes.  but its sweetness won't last long!.  Tomorrow we will be making our annual pilgrimage to Keswick Valley to take out tax data to our accountant.  Somehow I don't expect to see any Canada Geese there, which is my yearly anticipation!