Friday, April 3, 2015

More Postcards from the Ponds

Do Tell

Yesterday, I mentioned how I look for "tells" that might indicate what to expect next and said that a stretched neck was one. Here is an image of what I was talking about. Their necks had not yet returned to "normal" before taking to the air. The one with it's head underwater is in for a surprise when he resurfaces. As you may have guessed, these are Blue-winged Teal.

Come Fly with Me

Here is the action that tipped me off that the Northern Shovelers in one of yesterday's images were going to fly. Notice how alert they all are with their necks stretched out, looking in the same direction. The second male from the left is assuming a normal posture.

This image is a second later as they decided to leave. The amount of trash around the edge of this pond is distressing. Some of it is very industrial like the bucket. Who knows what toxic material that may have contained originally. Some of the other shoreline edges are even worse. The birds struggle to survive despite our best efforts to totally ruin the world they share with us.

I was surprised to see both Bald Eagles perched on the edge of the nest. I passed by a couple of weeks ago and didn't see any activity, making me think the nest had failed this year. Now, it seems a good likelihood that there are chicks in the nest. This is one of two eagle nests in North Beach. Who knows, there may be more. You kinda keep their location under your hat so they won't be disturbed.

This last image involves an osprey reinforcing it's nest. Ospreys use the same nest year after year, rebuilding upon returning in the spring. They line the interior of the nest with marsh grasses and mud, both of which they collect without landing. Today, I saw both the male and the female together swoop down into the marsh and grab material for their nest. This one descended into an area where snipe were feeding and scared them off ahead of it. I have never seen an osprey take anything but a fish — although my wife once saw one take a duckling when we were fishing. The teal, which are fairly small waterfowl seem nervous around them, so it makes me wonder.

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