Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
This species stays in our area and later in the season the female can be seen in ponds accompanied by her young.
Posted by me ann my camera at 7:31 AM
Monday, April 28, 2008
Posted by me ann my camera at 7:25 AM
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Another unique feature of Wood Ducks is that they are perching ducks and they nest in trees cavities found in trees situated above water. As soon after their eggs are hatched the young baby ducks are coaxed out of the nest and are encouraged to jump down into the water, by the female Wood Duck, whom is waiting below. Other than encourage -ment the female Wood Duck gives no other help. This duck species produces two broods a year and this also makes them unique among other duck species in North America. This photo, of two males, following a female is rather misleading for it might suggest to some that this is of a pursuit of a female by two males in search of a mate. In actual fact though, in most cases Wood Ducks pair up in January and mates have already been chosen long before they reach our region.
Posted by me ann my camera at 10:20 AM
Saturday, April 26, 2008
I began yesterday with a goal in mind: to see if the Mayflower blossoms I had seen last week were now in bloom. This was primarily first on my spring checklist for the day but also I had been hoping to see Yellowlegs and Green-winged Teal as well. As there has been a lot of flooding activity this week, along the Saint John and it tributaries, due to snow and ice melt, I first decided to check out an area that most always floods each spring and ducks often gather there in the fields covered with water. I was immediately rewarded with seeing a small flock of Canada Geese at the edge of the rising waters, but the gold in this sighting was a glimpse of three Green-winged Teal in the water behind them! While checking the area with my binoculars I saw a beautiful Northern Harrier flying over the area but its flight path was further than my camera lens would reach. Upon checking the flooded fields on the other side of the highway I saw at a great distance some Black Ducks and feeding in between them was a Yellowlegs! Its profile allowed me to identify it as such, but not as far as if to say it was a greater or lesser one. My next stop was to check on the Mayflowers, and I easily found several in bloom. This day was full of interest -ing sightings for me for when I returned home I saw a Goldfinch in our feeder area. Usually a Goldfinch isn't such an uncommon sighting for me but for some reason this past fall and winter there just didn't seem to be any around. This Goldfinch was the first I had seen for many, many months. It was a very welcome sight. This had been a very rewarding day with quite a growing collection of interesting first spring sightings but it was not yet over for while out on an afternoon walk I came across a caterpillar in damp grass in a large meadow. I haven't tried to id it yet, but most significant to me is that I don't think I've ever come across one so early in the year before. It continued to be a wonderful day of sightings for early in the evening I went out to fill the car with gas and decided to take the long way home as the evening light was so beautiful. Driving by a small pond I spied what I thought at first were Black Ducks as they were in the shadows, but closer examin -ation showed them to be a couple of female Mergansers near the edge of the pond. Aren't they beautiful? And then; what could be a more perfect ending to a perfect day of nature sightings than a meadow full of White-tailed Deer, eight in all.
Posted by me ann my camera at 6:42 AM
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Driving along the highway yesterday, at Lower St. Marys, we saw a large bird fly across the road ahead of us carrying a big stick and we thought it was probably a crow. But as we got closer and saw it land on top of a power line we realized it was an Osprey and there was another waiting there.
What grand luck with a great view! We parked across the street from the nest building site and sat in our car taking pictures.
Posted by me ann my camera at 8:01 AM
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I'm glad that I had saved a picture of this beautiful old Osprey nest. The nest had stood for many, many years on top of this old dead tree but the ravages of this winter's fierce winds, and rains and storms had destroyed it. You can see from the positioning of the branches that it is the same tree but when the Osprey returned this year they found only a few fragments left of what once had been a grand structure.
Each year I have watched this location for their return and have taken many photos of these magnificent birds. One of my favourites is of one Osprey pushing a somewhat hesitant Osprey off the nest in August, 2006. I wondered at the time if this was an example of offspring that just wouldn't leave home?
Posted by me ann my camera at 7:02 AM
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
When I first started birding I used to think all sparrows looked alike but I know now that was a total misconception on my part.
At our feeders presently we have both Chipping Sparrows and Tree Sparrows. At a brief glance these two do look similar but there are a couple of quick ways to tell them apart. The Tree Sparrow has a dark spot in the center of its breast whereas the Chipping Sparrow's breast is unmarked. Also the Tree Sparrow's beak is bicoloured with the bottom part being yellow.
Posted by me ann my camera at 7:39 AM