Waterfowl on the Move

There are now Canada Geese, resident and migratory, on every puddle, pond, lake and wetland. Their favorite feeding grounds are harvested corn fields near open surface waters.

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Canada Geese and other waterfowl on Woodman Pond

Geese aren’t the only waterfowl species enjoying the ice-free water.

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Common Merganser, males

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Common Mergansers, male and female

Yesterday, a flock of nearly 100 migrating Snow Geese chose to work the corn stubble and refuel, rather than battle strong, cold wind and snow. SnowGeese5Apr14#021Ec3x5 SnowGeese5Apr14#049E Snowgeese5Apr14#061Ec8x10

My favorite waters this time of year are small streams; tree-lined, canal waterways; and swamps. They’re usually quiet, off the beaten path, teeming with wildlife, and provide more photo ops within reach of my modest gear. Wood Ducks are cruising around in these places now, thinking ahead to the nesting season.

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Male Wood Duck, one of several on the Chenango Canal

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

Late Spring Highlights

Late spring is a dynamic, transitional time with seemingly endless opportunities to observe and photograph nature. There are so many things going on, all competing for attention: animals in beautiful sleek summer coats; awkward, gangly youngsters learning the ways of the world; a continuum of blooming wildflowers and woody shrubs, the latter resulting in soft mast that will nourish late-nesting and migrating birds; and of course the cold-blooded reptiles and invertebrates, responding to the warmer days that fuel their life activities. I love it all and often find myself frozen with indecision, wanting to be in dozens of different places at the same time! Anyone who has fly-fished and observed the water boiling with surface-feeding fish knows the feeling. 

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A carpet of Buttercups in full bloom on the floodplain of a small stream.

This post features some of my favorite photos from this magical time of year, roughly  the third week of June in central New York. For the most part, the photos are random shots resulting from numerous “discovery walks” where I tried to capture the full range of natural events that represent the season.

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Common Wood Sorrel

I listened to a wild turkey gobbling this morning, weeks after the prime mating and nesting season. He seemed reluctant to let go of spring and move on to the more mundane business of summer feeding and dust bathing. If that’s the case, I share his reluctance to let go, and must preserve the memories with a season-ending photo gallery.

Photos by NB Hunter. ©  All Rights Reserved.