Wetlands in Ice and Snow

Deep snow, rising melt-water and stressed animals have caused me to observe and photograph from a distance, often using my truck as a blind. Two storms and forty inches of snow blanketed the landscape in early March, leaving an interesting mix of “signs of Spring” … ice … and a blanket of snow.

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Open wetland with seasonal water

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Hooded Merganser in a hardwood swamp

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Muskrat feeding on submerged vegetation

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Hardwood swamp teaming with wildlife (location for the remaining images)

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Muskrat in a hardwood swamp, browsing Northern White Cedar (1 of 2)

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Wood Ducks cruising along in a hardwood swamp; 1 of 3

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Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

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Spring Scenes and Winter Landscapes

A rainy, overcast day with dirty snow and mud seems like a good time to reflect on the month of March and illustrate early spring in Central New York. I’ll emphasize wet places and some of the birds that frequent them.

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Hooded Merganser

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Canada Goose and a pair of ring-necked ducks

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Canada geese grazing in a farm field

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Killdeer grooming at a spring seep

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A pair of mallards under the reflection of deep snow

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Great Blue Heron over ice and Canada geese on open water

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A solitary Snow Goose in a flock of Canada geese

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Migrating snow geese above farm fields, refueling on waste grain

Photos by NB Hunter, March 2017. ©All Rights Reserved.

Bird Sightings in Early April

April roared in with lake-effect snow, wind and bone-chilling temperatures. I couldn’t help but wonder, and worry, about the fate of migrating birds like the Woodcock that I accidentally flushed during the storm. Two days of stormy weather finally gave way  to sun, blue skies and temperatures above freezing. This post documents random bird sightings during that three-day period of weather extremes.

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A pair of Mallards feeding during a lake-effect snowstorm (1 of 2)

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A Cooper’s Hawk with its prey, one of a flock of 20–30 “blackbirds” that were visiting a bird-feeding site during the lake-effect snow storm.

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Common Redpoll near a feeder

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Mourning Doves at a feeding site

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One of a pair of Canada Geese staking claim to a nesting territory

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A pair of Hooded Mergansers at rest near the bank of a small, historic canal waterway

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Turkey Vulture searching the fields and roadsides for carrion.

All photos by NB Hunter