Saturday, February 18, 2012

Spring Is On Its Way

Saturday morning I arrived at Great Meadows as the sun was cresting the tree line. My had the refuge changed in just a few days. The impoundments previously covered in ice except for patches of open water, were now open water with patches of ice remaining. Song sparrows greeted me in song as I ventured onto the Cross-Dike Trail.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120218 &emdash;

As I approached the Boat Ramp, I was greeted with the unmistakable songs of Red-Winged Blackbirds. While robins wintered over, the return of the Red-winged Blackbirds is a sure sign that spring is rapidly approaching. Soon I expect the refuge will be filled with them each trying to lay claim to his own territory., hoping to attract a mate.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120218 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120218 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120218 &emdash;


There was quite a bit of duck activity. Mallards flying too and fro. Near the Poison Ivy bench a pair of male Hooded Mergansers were trying impress a couple of females. (I've got to stop trying to use auto focus, when there are so many little twigs to grab the focus.) They were quite a distance away, but included a couple of "record" shots. I love their crested heads. Near the other end of the lower impoundment, another pair wth their crests back, was swimming until they saw me.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120218 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120218 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120218 &emdash;


The shy Screech Owl was sun bathing in his hole near the holt. But when he heard the shutter he quickly went back inside. Unfortunately there is no view of the hole that is not blocked by branches. I am including this photo, just so people know what they are looking for.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120218 &emdash;

Along the way I also encountered several other animals is various forms of activity.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120218 &emdash;
Several Common Goldeneyes couldn't decide which impoundment they wanted to swim in

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120218 &emdash;
hairy Woodpecker contemplates its next tree

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120218 &emdash;
Canada Geese seemed to be pairing up. Several were seen checking out muskrat lodges. Last year a couple used them to nest.