Posted by: atowhee | February 3, 2014

TURN, TURN, RETURN

We’re just in mid-winter but the changes that are spring harbingers abound.
Ducks are forming pairs so when they migrate northward or eastward they can immediately begin nesting. hoody-pair Pair of Hooded Mergansers.
Male Shovelers are starting to show their bright red sidewalls while male Ruddy Ducks are getting those clear white cheek patches.
Red-tails and Great Horned Owls are already nesting here.
The crocus have begun to bloom in my garden where the dogwood and Scouler willow are already in bud.
The chives are sprouting and the primroses in bloom.
The Great Blue Herons now sport their fancy plumes that once made their a target of hunters. Then their plumes ended up on ladies’ hats. It is almost a century since we outlawed the feather trade in the U.S. thus saving herons and egrets from extinction.

With the passing of the ice, for now, and the apparent departure of the otter, the Ashland Pond Duck population is increasing daily. gwt and coot Lone female Green-winged Teal Gadwall at pond on Feb.2, gone on Feb. 3. Above with Coot which is larger.

gwt-brite
Several crisply feathered male Ring-necked Ducks grace the pond right now.
rndu brite


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