The March Sun

Five days ago I published a post featuring the continuation of severe winter weather and wild turkeys struggling to survive. Within hours of that story, the average daily temperature rose 30 degrees F, deep snow cover began to consolidate and melt, and frozen surface waters started to thaw.  Overwhelmed by the increasing intensity and duration of the March sun, Winter is in retreat.

The first thaw in over two months had an immediate and profound effect on winter landscapes and animal behaviors. One can see it, feel it, smell it — spring is just around the corner!

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Geese and mallards on open water in a thawing wetland

Dabbling and diving ducks on a narrow, ice-free section of a small, wooded canal (3):

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Mallard drake

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Pair of Gadwalls

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Ring-necked Duck

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

Spring Thaw!

Finally, the ice is melting and the snow receding. The discovery of some familiar faces on a trip to the marsh on April 1 confirmed it: spring is here, and it’s not an April Fool’s prank!

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Great Blue Heron – first sighting in 2014

 

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Red-winged Blackbird on a breeding territory in a cattail marsh

 

 

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Mute Swan at rest on ice

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.