A Spring Classic!

The classic spring weather continues, but at least it wasn’t precipitating this morning, so good enough for a visit to Estabrook.

The winter wrens are as thick as ever, and this one had bigger fish to fry than staying out of my sight.

I don’t see the mallards in large groups on the river anymore. Instead, I see pairs, like this handsome couple, off by themselves.

There were plenty of wood ducks on the pond, and the sun even made a valiant effort to break through the clouds for a moment.

I bumped into Charlotte, “Wildlife Biologist and Professional Bird Nerd”, at the pond, and as we walked over to the river, we spotted both a peregrine falcon and a kestrel flying overhead. The falcon had a bulging neck and looked like a heron from the side, but Charlotte explained that it merely had a nice full crop from just scarfing down some breakfast, which I was fascinated to learn.

Over the path along the river, we spotted more tree-top wood ducks, and here’s the drake.

At the north end, I was stunned to find at least 14 buffleheads! There was just one hen, and all the rest were drakes. Here’s the best picture I could get of them together, and it shows just eight of them. Imagine nearly twice that many.

On our way back south, Charlotte spotted a woodpecker overhead, and when it flew to the next tree, she recognized that it was a yellow-bellied sapsucker. This picture is terrible, but you can see a bit of its name-sake yellow “belly”.

Just above the falls, here’s another herring gull with a fish.

Finally, as I was searching for a hairy woodpecker, to round out my woodpecker collection for this morning, I found my first spider of the season on one of the tipped-up picnic tables at the far south end.

Speaking of bugs, when I got home, I found that Anne had thoughtfully left a section of today’s New York Times open for me on top of my laptop. The article, “In Wisconsin: Stowing Mowers, Pleasing Bees“, is about how the “the No Mow May movement help[s] transform the traditional American lawn — a manicured carpet of grass — into something more ecologically beneficial.” In Appleton, WI “they found that No Mow May lawns had five times the number of bees and three times the bee species than did mown” lawns. If you have any say about when the grass gets cut where you live, perhaps you could give it a try and “do more by doing less.”

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.

4 thoughts on “A Spring Classic!

  1. I think I’ll schedule our lawn moving to not start until June. Will probably save the condo association a little bit of money, too!

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