Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ducks on Lake

Got down to the lake today which keeps getting a little more open water but not ice-out yet.  Two hundred or so Common Mergansers and a few Ring-billed Gulls.  Also saw Swallows skimming the ice/water.  No Bald Eagle sighting today.  I did see a pair of Wood Ducks flying over the village this morning.  Scared a Ruffed Grouse for the third time in a week or so while walking my dog, Athos, in the woods today.  It was actually hidden down by a stream bed and came exploding up!  Good luck dealing with the impending  nor'easter tomorrow!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring is Almost Here!

First sighting for me of a Bald Eagle down at Round Lake was on March 15.  Today, March 17, a Great Blue Heron flew over my head as I was walking on Janes Avenue.  It was heading west, coming from the lake.  Ice is not out yet on the lake although where the inlet comes into the lake there is a stretch of open water.  I can't wait to get out in my kayak.  I'm very curious about what will go on down at the heron rookery this season.  There was only one active Heron nest last season and Ospreys were hanging out by and in one of the nests in the rookery.  I had hoped to go down the old trolley tracks to check on the nests before the snow melted but did not have a chance.  Now it will be muddy and flooded and the ticks will be out.  Two years ago hiking in there I got covered with ticks.  I rather wait for open water and paddle down the outlet to the rookery.  Stay tuned! 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Great Backyard Bird Count

Back on February sixteenth there seemed to be a noticeable increase in birds singing.  As I was walking my dogs I heard Cardinals, Tufted Titmice, and Black-capped Chickadees.  It certainly wasn't a warm day as the temperature in the morning was nine degrees.  However, increasing daylight and spring a little over a month away is worth singing about!  On February eighteenth, I participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count which is a national count conducted over a four day period.  It is described as a huge snapshot of what birds are where throughout the country during these four days.  I started counting at eight in the morning when I stepped outside to walk one of my dogs. There was a Pileated Woodpecker fast at work chiseling a hole in a tree right by my house.  I continued counting with a couple of friends all around the Village of Round Lake.  We spotted Crows, Chickadees, Downy Woodpeckers,  Dark-eyed Juncos, Blue Jays, Mourning Doves- in all twenty species.  American Goldfinches have been around all winter and it took me until one-thirty in the afternoon to spot and count a couple of them.  I took a break until two-fifty when I started counting again from the porch of the Round Lake Library.  Perfect timing- a Red-tailed Hawk glided over the Auditorium.  I saw a Canada Goose fly over which is the first one I've seen since late fall.  Results of the count can be viewed on  The next day two Carolina Wrens showed up in my yard. They missed the count but I've recorded the sighting in my Project Feeder Watch data.  I had a Grackle at my feeder on March second and heard and saw Red-winged Blackbirds in town on March eighth.  I wish I could report that the weather is spring-like but it most certainly is not.  We continue to get hammered by snow, sleet, and freezing rain.  My last year's nature notes for March eighth say that the crocuses were up by an inch and a half.  Tulips and daffodils were beginning to break ground.  This year they are blanketed by at least six inches of snow.  Let's all hope it's over soon!!