Monday, May 25, 2015

Wood Ducks

Dad checking on young
It was 58 degrees at 7:00 a.m., clear and sunny.

The lower gardens are looking much more active now that the weather has warmed up and the gardeners are in full swing. Of course we had our tree swallows busy with raising their families, but also had cowbirds, house wrens singing, song sparrow couples, crows, robins and blue jays. Yellow warbler couples were also very present and busy in addition to catbirds and goldfinches.

The Baltimore oriole nest is so visible, I had to stand and watch for a while. At first the parents were busy finding food, but eventually they each came back and took turns feeding the babies in the nest. Haynes had mentioned that there were several American Redstarts and I just barely caught a glimpse of one as it whizzed past me.

Mom ready for her turn
The upper gardens had much the same as the lower. I like to check out the hole in the broken birch where the chickadees were exploring earlier in the spring and sure enough, out flew a chickadee so I guess they really did decide to nest there. I wasn't sure... The male grosbeak was singing up a storm. At first, he was foraging low to the ground which was fun to watch, as mostly he is perched high up in the tree tops. He did end up there singing for quite a long time. A warbling vireo warbled away in the woods. The peewee has made it's way back to the woods behind the upper gardens and was singing in one of the large oak trees. He was visible on a dead branch which is so often where you see them.

In the pond, I was surprised to see three male wood ducks, very brightly colored, calmly swimming around. I thought for sure my mere presence from quite a distance would frighten them which in a way it did. They didn't fly away, but quietly swam out of sight. A mother mallard hung around the edge of the pond feeding with her many baby ducklings. No sign of the muskrat or beaver. Turtles sunned themselves on a dead log at the far end.

Woodcock meadow was quiet - a few robins, a house wren, catbirds and a pair of mourning doves.