Away from the Ocean

The ice has disappeared from ponds and reservoirs at last so there are finally opportunities to see more of the inland birds. Resident and migrating ducks and other early arrivals are appearing in good numbers. This is an interesting shot of two pairs of different duck species in close proximity. They don’t often get close enough to each other to get into the same frame. There are Wood Ducks on the left and Hooded Mergansers on the right.

Here are the individual pairs.

And a few more photos: Wood Duck pair, male Hooded Merganser and female Hooded Merganser.

I also got some in-flight photos. The Merganser was quite a distance away but the Wood Ducks flew close enough for some nice shots.

Canada Geese are starting to nest and they can get pretty aggressive when protecting their nesting site. This is what happens when a stranger gets a bit too close. Note the poor Mallard in the third photo. He was just minding his own business and almost got run over.

Red-winged Blackbirds have started showing up for the season. The males come first and stake out a nesting site. They flash their shoulder patches to warn other males away. The females arrive later to choose a mate. Then the males also flash the patches to show off while the females choose a male and his nesting site. One male may have 3 or more females in his “harem”. Males without a territory end up in the bachelor flock.

The migration season is just starting and I will be posting updates with all the sightings.

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