Ducks unlimited

Last week, in three short days the lake turned from ice to water–it was miraculous to watch. Even before the melt, waterfowl had begun to arrive. First, a few Canadian Geese sliding along the ice as they tried to land, then a couple of Mallards. But within days, we were invaded by the most gorgeous ducks. My favorites are the Wood Ducks, whose male coloration is stunning. They’re small, typically arrive in groups, and have a jerky walk like chickens, bobbing their heads as they go. Very entertaining to watch. They also dive in the water. We have four wood duck houses on trees in our yard and today we saw the first female (much less colorful alas) start nesting in one.

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We also have Hooded Merganzers, larger with flatish heads–quite beautiful.

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And surprise, for a small lake at least, we have a loon! Solitary,  always in the middle of the lake, and quite a diver. This is our state bird I think. They are large, low in the water, with wicked looking beaks and an eerie call.

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This morning a couple of wild turkeys trotted across the back yard and we spotted our first egret. One question remains–when will the swans come back? After a long hard winter, it’s rewarding to be reminded of why we chose this house. Last night’s sunset helped too. These were taken about two minutes apart–no color enhancements! (Ha, you can see my husband’s hockey net still at the lake’s edge. Not a good year for lake hockey I’m afraid. But he sure tried.)

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