The first growth of the season is just beginning to emerge in the plant realm, but in the avian world spring moves are well underway.
Many of the visiting waterfowl – Long-Tailed Ducks, Scaups – have apparently ended their sojourns in our marsh to carry on north. A few Ring-Necked Ducks and more numerous Buffleheads are sticking around for now.
These ducks tend not to be noisy types, which is more than you can say about the Grackles who make sure to announce their presence.
The Grackle is also famous for its iridescent splendour – but the black-and-white Buffleheads can play with the spectrum of sunlight just as beautifully.
When the Buffleheads begin their playful skitterings across the marsh surface they splash the evening light in all directions at once.
Nesting waterfowl, meanwhile, are getting serious about staking out spots to build this year’s homes. Mute Swans have started their thunderous stampedes across the water to warn interloping Swans, as well as Canada Geese, to keep their distance.
Muskrats appear more placid but they too can cause a hubbub, thrashing about in the reeds, perhaps all in good fun? Whatever their motives, they were actively exploring the whole marsh through the past week.
The ranks of Red-Wing Blackbirds grow by the day and so their calls fill the air.
But when it comes to reaching for the sky, a mere lack of wings is no reason to stay earth-bound. As the first fresh fruits of the spring emerge, Gray Squirrels climb to the tops of the tallest trees at the edge of marsh to savour the choicest buds.
Photo at top of page: Three Plus One (click here for larger view)