Monday, May 2, 2016

A Wood Ducky Day

What a wonderful still sunny morning in Southern Minnesota. It has been our pleasure to watch pairs of Wood Ducks this spring. Oakwood has at least 6 pairs nesting on our small peninsula on the back bay of Fountain Lake.  The females are laying eggs so both sexes are hanging around in the morning before they take to the water. This morning a female flew to the box and hoovered looking inside.  Another female flew out of the box. This confirms that Wood Ducks do engage in "nest dumping".  This happens when there are not enough nests/boxes for the pairs.  I guess we will be building more houses.  Whatever happened to the Wood Duck houses that Tubbs had manufactured 30 years ago.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Loons Left Fountain Lake But Pelicans Returned

   Loons were still here in Southern Minnesota maybe the result of our cold/cool temperatures on the April 6th.  Each day we feel privileged to see them even in the mist and rain. I have yet to hear them this year but it is possible.  April 10th was the last time I saw them. But we will enjoy the warmer weather and the Pelicans that have taken their place until the fall temperatures drive them south again.  Mostly the Pelicans are flyovers but they will be fishing in our back bay soon.

Redheads & Cans on Fountain and Albert Lea Lakes

   Both lakes have many ducks riding the waves today and Saturday.  Big Island has a few ponds where they are sheltered from the brutal north wind.  Bluebills or Scaups, Greater or Lesser are the dominate ducks on both lakes but there are also Redheads and Canvasbacks 



Thursday, April 7, 2016

Wood Ducks in the Neighborhood

 The Wood Ducks are hanging around while the females continue to lay eggs. We have at least 6 Wood Duck boxes in our Oakwood neighborhood and saw 6 pairs at one time.  As I walked by one yesterday, the female flew out squeaking. I hope she did her job.  This morning in the mist there was a pair near our box and then another pair swam by.  Yes, we love living here in the spring. 
 Two females in waiting

That's all folks.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Big Island State Park: Cold and Cloudy

Bluebird at Big Island State Park, only 7.6 miles from our home. The same distance as Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge was from our winter residence. The habitat is lake shore, prairie, thickets, mature forest and ponds. Spring is starting to happen there. Birds noted: Bluebird, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Veery, Common and Hooded Mergansers, Wood Ducks, Buffleheads, Canda Geese, White Pelicans, Greater Scaups, Shovelers, Blue-winged Teal, etc. Spring Peepers were the background music.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Wood Ducks, Juncos, Chickadees and Waxwings

There at least 3 pairs of Wood ducks in site of our Oakwood home. They have been nesting here since we arrive 25 plus years ago.  The ducks beat us back from the south as did the open waters.  The Juncos must have sensed the cold spell we are having since they are still here.   The Chickadees are constants as are the gray squirrels. The Cedar Waxwings show up when there are berries to eat. We enjoy their brief stop.

(Male above, Female below)

Dark-eyed Juncos vary in color, a few very dark almost charcoal.

Black-capped Chickadee, a year around favorite

            Cedar Waxwings (in Lanesboro) 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Common Loons a Closer Look

It was a Loon Day for sure.  I had been walking the shores of Fountain Lake since we arrived two weeks again looking for loons. There has been one or two most times I looked. Usually the Loon was on the far shore but today was different and the sun even came out briefly. There were two but only one came close enough for a photo shoot.