Signs of Spring

Living on a lake in late winter/early spring is a fascinating time. Last year mergansers and red-headed ducks flew in for a stop over during their spring migration. This year the lake was taken over by a flotilla of Canadian Geese. When I say flotilla, I really mean it. I had to stop counting at 2000. There were two groups. In the morning they would start out on opposite sides of the lake. One group in the east and one in the west. By mid-afternoon the two groups would meet in the middle. I spent many good hours sitting on my deck watching hundreds upon hundreds of geese flying in low, stick out their landing gear and slide gently into the water to join their fellows out in the center of the lake. The honking of thousands of geese is really loud.

And amazingly, in amongst all these geese, was tucked a small group of bufflehead ducks. The buffleheads, a diving duck, are fun to watch and always seemed to find the best spots before the geese did. And even in mid-March a belted kingfisher was already diving away, also in the area occupied by the buffleheads. A blue heron made a rather early appearance and was lurking in that same area for a while as well.

On a day I was feeling a bit better, and my shoulder actually let me lift my camera, I went off to Daniel Webster Sanctuary to lurk in the bird hide there. Mute Swans, northern shovelers, green winged teals, black ducks and the ubiquitus Canadian geese all made appearances. Song sparrows were staking out territories and one rather ambitious painted turtle was even sunning itself in the pond.