May says to April, “hold my beer”…

First, we’ve got goslings on the island in the pond at last, and I don’t think they’ve even gone for their first swim yet. There were none yesterday afternoon, and Dad was standing guard in his usual spot just offshore, but when I checked this morning, he was napping on the island for the first time I’ve ever seen, so I figured something must be up.

Sure enough, after a bit of waiting, look who snuck a peak at this big ol’ world. We don’t know who many there are yet, but based on the amount of jostling that was going on under that wing, I’d guess three at the minimum.

There wasn’t much else going on, and with a real-feel temperature of 42°, I didn’t guess that there’d be swimming any time soon, so I headed down to the river.

There I found one of the river geese families just waking up. Somebody was hungry!

And soon they were all up foraging, while Mom keeps a watchful eye on the sky. There’s been some hawks about lately.

Next, I checked on one of our nesting robins, and she was oddly perched over her nest.

Since she wasn’t actually incubating, I took a risk and nudged her off for a second to take a peak inside. Boy, I sure hope that’s how they are supposed to look. At least the other two have hatched, so that’s gotta be a good sign, right? As soon as I backed away, Mom went right back to it, and the other robin was just on her nest as usual.

At the north end, I spotted two more goose families out for their morning swims already, and as I tried to take their picture with them both lined up just right, somebody photobombed the shot.

I thought it was one of the sandpipers we’ve already seen, but then a real sandpiper showed up to nudge it out of the way.

Ha! By the looks of those long yellow legs and the lack of streaking on the flanks, I’m gonna say we’ve got ourselves a lesser yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) on its way from wintering along the Gulf of Mexico to breeding grounds along Hudson Bay. There were at least three of them filling up.

Then the sun went a way, so I headed back to the pond in case there were any new developments. On my way, I came across this handsome white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys), also on its way to Hudson Bay and without any of the yellow displayed by the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) who only has to fly a bit further north in Wisconsin and who we saw singing about Canada a couple of weeks ago.

I did notice a new flower up at the pond. Anybody know this one?

Oh, and before I forget, during the visit to the pond I mentioned above, I spotted a red-heard slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) finally up from its long winter slumber to compete with the painted turtles for prime spots on logs in the sun.

And finally, there was a black-and-white warbler (Mniotilta varia) just daring me to capture an image of it not moving.

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.

5 thoughts on “May says to April, “hold my beer”…

  1. Routinely, as kids, my sisters and I would walk our country road – we knew exactly where the wild strawberries were. While they were tiny – about the size of a pea, it was very fun to pick and eat. Meanwhile Mom was picking a few dozen quarts from our garden patch!


  2. Wow. I cannot believe you caught that sweet shot of the gosling looking out from protective wing. That’s amazing. And I’m so glad the robin babies are well. Thanks for your reporting, Andy.


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