The orb-weavers (Araneidae) are back, and with the sun coming out this morning after the rain and heavy fog last night, their artistry looked amazing! I didn’t see any of the actual spiders themselves, but their work was unmistakable.
Also just in, the female red-winged blackbirds have finally arrived at the pond. I read that the males arrive first, to stake out territory, and then the females fly in a bit later. Well, later is now, so there’d better be some good territory staked out is all I’m saying.
She was calling, too, and maybe to this handsome devil across the pond.
Also at the pond, the goose on the southern tip of the island was off her nest again, but I could clearly see 4 eggs in it now. They say that she won’t incubate until she’s laid all her eggs so that they hatch at about the same time, and maybe she’s still got one or two left in the hopper.
A few wood ducks were also there this morning. Here’s the hen with her current pretty boy checking out the lawn will the other two drakes were on the island plotting their schemes.
The morning sun also brought out the turtles, who’ve been laying low, literally under water, while we got our April showers.
Finally, a kingfisher came by the pond for the first time this season that I’ve seen, and he perched perfectly at the top of a dead birch tree on the island against a bright blue sky. Magic! I hustled around to the other side to get the sun at my back. I was approaching as carefully as I knew how, because they are so skittish, but just before I got to a clear shot through the brush and trees, the geese got into an argument, again, and she was out of there. This is what I was left with. Dang.
Oh well. On to the river, where I was surprised to find Mrs. Gadwall is still kicking around. At first I thought she was a mallard, but when she high-tailed it for the far shore as soon as she saw me, I should have realized who she was. Luckily, the far shore happened to be closer that its ever been, so here you go. Plus, she couldn’t have been to bothered by my presence too much because she immediately went about preening herself, and this is one of the few shots I got in which she’s actually looking our way.
The northern flickers are still plentiful and shy as ever.
As are the cardinals northern cardinals, but less shy.
For some reason, the black-capped chickadees were especially photogenic this morning.
Plus, I spotted a couple working on their nest. It first I thought they were finding something to eat in the top of a dead tree trunk, but as I worked my way around to the back side, I found that they were actively excavating a nesting hole. I had no idea.
Sure enough, the fine folks at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology describe their nest placement as “nest boxes, small natural cavities, or abandoned Downy Woodpecker cavities; often excavate their own cavities.“
Finally, the cowbirds have just arrived, too, and here’s a female rustling up some breakfast.
PS. I finally scored a reach extender that somebody left behind in the park last week, and I thought I’d never use one, but I discovered that they sure come in handy when I’m trying to fish some litter out of the water. This morning, I finally tied my old camera strap to it so I could sling it over my shoulder, like Dead Pool, and that thing was handy as heck. Who could have known?