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.
Open wetland with seasonal water
Hooded Merganser in a hardwood swamp
Muskrat feeding on submerged vegetation
Hardwood swamp teaming with wildlife (location for the remaining images)
Muskrat in a hardwood swamp, browsing Northern White Cedar (1 of 2)
Wood Ducks cruising along in a hardwood swamp; 1 of 3
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.
Canada Goose and a pair of ring-necked ducks
Canada geese grazing in a farm field
Killdeer grooming at a spring seep
A pair of mallards under the reflection of deep snow
Great Blue Heron over ice and Canada geese on open water
A solitary Snow Goose in a flock of Canada geese
Migrating snow geese above farm fields, refueling on waste grain
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.
A pair of Mallards feeding during a lake-effect snowstorm (1 of 2)
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.
Common Redpoll near a feeder
Mourning Doves at a feeding site
One of a pair of Canada Geese staking claim to a nesting territory
A pair of Hooded Mergansers at rest near the bank of a small, historic canal waterway
Turkey Vulture searching the fields and roadsides for carrion.