Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Waterfowl on a Beaver Pond

Snow geese kept me from checking the ice on two beaver ponds but several days later I was able to visit the ponds. One, although it had small patches of open water, was still almost completely ice covered. The other pond is much, much larger (probably about 25 acres) and, with the exception of a narrow strip in the shade of tall white pines, was unfrozen.

As I approached the large pond a large bright white object was visible. Closer still it became apparent that it was not one object, but rather a group of tundra swans. Amazingly they allowed a close approach and just continued with what they were doing –

In all there were over 100 Canada geese on the pond, some just single pairs and some in small groups –

And a variety of ducks: hooded mergansers –

Mallards and wood ducks –

Ring-necked ducks, also sometimes called ring-billed ducks. The ring on the bill is much more obvious than the ring on the neck –

There were also two male lesser scaup, often called bluebills –

Even though they were the furthest away of any of the birds, wood ducks - being wood ducks - suddenly flushed and flew off, followed by the mergansers and mallards. That was enough for the Canada geese and off they went, as did a few of the ring-necked ducks. Lastly the tundra swans took off –

And like most of the ducks circled and landed far across the pond –

Unfortunately I’d disturbed the birds, something I wanted to avoid and which probably wouldn’t have happened but for me getting too close to the wary and skittish wood ducks.


Barbara Rogers said...

I've walked all the way around a small pond with wood ducks managing to swim to the far side almost at the same rate! Smart little guys, which means they'll survive! I loved your stop motion of the swans!

The Furry Gnome said...

Wonderful sighting of those swans!

Jenn Jilks said...

It is a wonderful time of year for birding!

eileeninmd said...

Beautiful captures of the Tundra Swans. I love the ducks, pretty capture of the Hooded Mergansers. Wonderful collection of birds and photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, enjoy your weekend.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

The Swans are so beautiful in flight! I am always trying to get a little closer too. We saw a family of Wood Ducks yesterday...only got a couple of photos! Enjoy your weekend!

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

It's such an exciting time of year, as the ice disappears from the ponds and lakes and the migrating waterfowl come back to us, even it only briefly. What an exciting group of them you saw and shared with us!