Sunday, 3 April 2016

April is early this year!

Seriously, we are far ahead of melt schedule. The frog pond is about 2/3 thawed. Mike Muskrat has turned up, as have a pair of Wood ducks. They tend to land in the open frog pond, and walk across to the safer, larger wetland bog, which is cluttered with dead plants.  I just happened to capture that on my video camera!

McGregor Muskrat is back from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
The frog pond is half thawed. A couple of years ago, three muskrats moved in. They built three push-ups and promptly left in spring, since they'd eaten most of the greens. Today, Mikey was back all alone. Daisy watched him as he hid under the dock.

My Wood ducks are notoriously shy, as are most. The first image on the video is one I photographed at Stanley Park. You can see them far back at the pond.
Wood ducks are back from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
I saw them fly in, and the nesting boxes are ready! They need open water to land, then video shows them walking from my pond to the wetland. It's thawed, but too crowded with branches for a good landing. Daisy picked up another tick, a huge adult that was easy to spot and remove. That's two this year! TICK COUNTS 2016

I had two mommas lay eggs in the two nesting boxes last year. #1 didn't start until April 27th. #2 nest had 17 eggs, of which 15 hatched! (Wood ducks have flown the coop)  (Project NestWatch)
You can see Daisy under the chair, watching McGregor Muskrat. I went back in the afternoon, after I'd recharged me and my saw, and found that the hole was bigger, and he'd been eating the bulrush roots on the platform. Good boy! I've had a lot of invasive plants, European frog-bit, and this will keep the pond open.

Still lots of damage and branches I need to clean up. Look at my poor heron, face first in the pond. I could get on my pants and fix her.

Meanwhile, the 'meadow' is a pond, since the ground isn't totally thawed. I did some more yard work, cleaning up dead branches. (Which is what led me to spot our critters.) Such joy! No bugs, lots of birds atwitter.

You can see the fallen branches I need to clean up. Daisy didn't like the reciprocating saw, and watched from up the hill. I ran out of energy, both me and my saw, and went back at it in the afternoon. Then, I broke the saw blade. After a trip to the store, I'll go back at it. The forest, where I walk, is littered with branches from all of our winter storms.

Back at the house, I grabbed a photo of the scarlet finch.


eileeninmd said...

Hello, I love the wood duck. We are having an arctic blast here, very windy cold and a little snow. What happened to spring? Happy Sunday, enjoy your new week ahead!

Out To Pasture said...

Enjoyed your videos and pics. That pond and deck is a joy. Thanks for the heads up on the ticks. I thought the season for them was too early but will start frisking my cat for them now.

Linda aka Crafty Gardener said...

McGregor has been busy. Woke to the sound of the snowplow going by!!! ... a covering of snow this morning, sun is breaking through, so hope it melts away soon.

Anvilcloud said...

I thnk the melt schedule is currently on hold. :)

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely to see the wood ducks, so handsome!

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed your post. The colors of the duck is awesome:)

Red said...

The melt of a pond provides some good watching as things appear like the muskrat.

William Kendall said...

That muskrat's going to be busy!

Karen said...

Ack, our winter just won't let go. The snowbanks have shrunk to about EIGHT feet tall though. Now I hear Wednesday is bringing us more snow. (insert sad imogie here?)
Do you put Kitty Revolution on your cats? I only have one cat in house now so I won't be putting it on her.
Still treat my dog and my daughters dog though.