If it’s April, you know there’ll be graupel!

I know the rhyme’s not perfect, if you pronounce graupel correctly, but you’re probably here for the pictures anyway, and boy, do we have some pictures.

On the island in the pond, the goose on the southern tip got up briefly to gave her eggs a turn this morning, and I can count at least three of them, so that’s super encouraging. The one on the northern tip was on her nest as well.

When I first arrived at the pond, there were three mallard drakes, goofing off as usual.

Then a fourth one flew in, and everyone wanted to talk about it.

That didn’t take long, however, and they all got right back to work.

A female red-winged blackbird stopped by, so it appears she found the territory staked out by her intended to be suitable.

Finally, all five wood ducks, two hens and three drakes, came to see if there was anything new to eat, so we get some nice wood duck portraits for a change.

They had some sorting out to do amongst themselves, which ended with a hen and two drakes taking off, and then this drake returned by himself and needing to dry out his wings.

At the river, our killdeer was back foraging on the mudflats.

And the friendly coot stopped by to say “hi”.

Both robins were on their nests as I went past, and further north, the muskrat passed by on its way south.

At the north end, our owl was back in its spot, after being awol for a couple of days. For all I know, it is just off hunting sometimes when I stopped by, and I shouldn’t read to much into it.

I also spotted an immature goldeneye, whom we haven’t seen in quite a while.

Then the skies opened and it came down fast enough to almost start accumulating. One cool phenomonon was that suddenly all the little hammock-like spider webs were visible. Those critters have been busy since they emerged just a week and a half ago.

It didn’t seem to bother the mallards or the coot, however, who just went about their business as usual.

At the southern end, I disturbed yet another nesting robin, who was on a nest right over the trail. That’s great that we have one more chance to spot eggs or chicks, but let’s hope traffic stays light enough for her to get the job done. I read that her eggs only take 12 to 14 days to hatch and then about another two weeks to fledge. They grow up so fast!

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

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