Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day Is for the Birds!

Having been promised the cruel joke of seven inches of snow made this chilly rainy day seem quite acceptable. Ed took the opportunity to finish the income taxes. We decided to take the truck, and to go on the shortcut to the post office. This shortcut consists of a dirt road through a cornfield surrounded by wetlands. Timing is crucial. First this road is icy, and then muddy and rutted. Then it reaches the wet, but passable stage before it goes to dusty and dry. Today the conditions were perfect. I had actually remembered to bring my binoculars and boy was I happy that I did!

We saw several pairs of Canada geese. I love these birds, but they have become commonplace here. That is not the case with the pair of wood ducks we spotted. Unmistakable, this pair of ducks was a real treat to see. The male is really wild! Natural design can be truly amazing! Already thrilled , the next pair of ducks we spotted was a pair of hooded mergansers. The female has a cool crest, but the male's black and white crest is stunning. I thought he had his crest up since his head seemed quite large, but as I saw in the bird book when I returned home ,he was not even close to the display he is capable of. She's a really lucky duck.

A pair of common mergansers were also on the water. They were a little far away to get a great look , but I'm pretty sure of my identification . Last but not least we spotted a belted kingfisher in a tree. We watched as he dove into the water with incredible speed and then returned to the tree branch. Crested and dressed in gray feathers that resemble a tuxedo with tails, this bird was a sight to behold. The trip was so much fun, the fact that we were mailing our taxes hardly made a ripple in our excitement.

Later in the evening 7 members of the local deer herd stopped by the garden for a snack. I managed to move them along by shouting at them out the living room window. Not impressed by me, they didn't go far. I'm sure they came back after dark. Considering it was too wet to really spend time outside, we certainly had an exciting wildlife day and that's no joke!

PS.If you are interested in these ducks go to Nature Tales and Camera Trails and use the search box. Ann's photographs are magnificent right down to the baby wood ducks!

1 comment:

Donna said...

we also have seen lots of geese but the deer and ducks have convinced me that we are headed in the right direction...we have a pair of Mallards that nest in the green area pond behind us and they frequently visit our pond...we saw them go the the pond behind us yesterday and are waiting for them to come visit our pond...yeah for spring!!!