Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Return of Waterfowl

Winter mallards at Avon River, Stratford
The warm weather of spring seems to turn a birder's mind to thoughts of . . . spring migrants.  This is the beginning of one of my favorite times in the birding year when the snow begins to melt creating ponds in the fields.  These flooded patches make excellent viewing of some of my favorite birds, the waterfowl.  I am fascinated by birds of all kinds, but waterfowl for some reason are special.  Basic waterfowl are easily recognizable by birders and non-birders alike.  They're fun to watch and photograph.   And they are one of the first major group of birds to return to Canada in the spring arriving just as the snow begins to retreat, long before other birds like the warblers.

This time of year is the last chance in my area to see certain ducks as they are usually only passing through.  The buffleheads, goldeneyes and mergansers for example can occur throughout winter and early spring and then they mostly leave our area until the fall and winter months.

These are not all spring pictures of waterfowl, but I decided to share them anyway.
Canada Geese at the Avon River- Stratford, Ontario

Unusual Coloured speculum on this duck.  Not sure what it is, probably some type of cross.
Distant Common Goldeneye on home farm, Perth County Ontario.

American Coot- Avon River, Stratford Ontario
Mallard pair-Avon River, Stratford, Ontario

American Wigeon- Avon River, Stratford Ontario
The ducks and geese aren't the only marsh life returning to breeding grounds around here.  Red-wings and grackles have arrived in full force and are singing away.

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