Saturday, 5 May 2018

Week of 28 April - 3 May 2018

A pretty eventful week of birding and nature. Migration has started here but it is a few weeks late. I think many of the migratory birds have passed us by due to the inclement weather we experienced in early Spring.
We saw a Harrier attack a Mallard in flight, possibly repeatedly. They were so far away that we didn't realize what we saw until we enlarged the photos at home.

Canada Geese
Nesting on top of a small hill.

Got quite a few photos. Got it stop by making kissing noises.

Mallard Harrier Attack
This was a surprise as initially we just thought it was some ducks trying to fend off a rival male. We think they made a circuit around this field a few times but weren't really paying attention. I finally snapped a series of photos but didn't realize what we had seen until we got home. Image quality lacking as they were at least 200 yards away.  

Harrier breaks off the attack. Male Mallard moving forward. Second Harrier moving in from the right.

Male Mallard inserts himself between the Harrier and the Female Mallard. This is how it ended. The Mallards were followed by the Harriers for a bit then they all went their own way. The Female Mallard didn't appear to be injured. 

Northern Harrier
They seem to be staying in the middle of the field and beyond so photo ops are pretty poor.

Northern Harrier
They had just locked claws and I missed it by seconds.

Northern Shoveler - Cackling Geese - Scaup -  Redhead - Blue Winged Teal
30 May 2018
A week prior the pond was still ice covered so we were very surprised to find it ice free and full of ducks and geese.
Unfortunately the winter didn't knock down the reeds around the pond like it normally does. This is about the only area of the pond we can see clearly. We were anticipating a lot of photo ops of different waterfowl this Spring, but, since the 30th there has been very little waterfowl activity at the pond and most of it obscured by the reeds. 

Wigeon - Cackling Geese - Redhead - Bufflehead