Sunday, May 22, 2016

May 22, 2016

The first eggs of the season hatched at Lake Wicwas this week, those of the Canada Goose, which is appropriate since they are the first birds to arrive in the spring.  Earlier in the week there was a family of eight to ten Canada Geese crossing Route 104 just east of Cross Hatch Road, and yesterday a family of seven appeared on the lake. 
Look how much smaller one chick is than the others

And even though there are more than enough Geese in these parts it was still sad to see that one egg didn't make it.
Goose egg for breakfast

Finding this early one morning in the middle of a trail near the water makes me think a weasel was the lucky diner of fresh egg for breakfast. 

Land owners around the lake have taken steps to help curtail the excessive goose population by letting shoreline vegetation grow up.  Shoreline growth discourages geese from coming on the land - they love grassy areas as every park and golf course knows.  Beaches are also an invitation to geese, particularly now with little goslings in tow which have trouble negotiating a dense shoreline.  A natural shoreline helps prevent geese as well as soil erosion and nitrogen and phosphorus runoff.  Geese have few predators, and even fewer near human development.  But as they are redirected back to nesting in their natural habitat they will be more exposed to predators and the population will be better managed.

Most of our seasonal birds have now returned for their summer at the lake.  Still no news on any loon nesting, but I have seen several of our warblers hopping around in the trees, plucking worms and bugs off the new leaves, building energy to lay their eggs.
Yellow Warbler

Common Yellowthroat sing loudly in the morning sun
Birds aren't the only things returning for the summer - people are too!  Docks, rafts and boats are starting to appear around the lake.
It's starting to look like summer

I'm looking forward to seeing good friends again after many months away!

If you will be at the lake over the holiday weekend, be sure to take a short break from the spring time work to enjoy a walk in the woods;  there is plenty of beauty this time of year.
A relative of rhododendron, Rhodora bloom near the water

You'll find Trillium in the woods - there are several along the Yellow Trail in the Hamlin Conservation Area
Wild strawberry grows in most any sunny spot

There are beautiful animals as well;  this week I was treated to my first deer sighting in some time.
Any doubts about why they call this a "white tail"?

As usual, it spotted me before I noticed it.  It started snorting and stomping as it stared me down. 

After a minute or two of this it decided to bound behind a few small trees.
These guys sure can jump

But it stopped there and continued to watch me, while another deer, invisible in the thicket, joined in the snorting. 

I went on my way, leaving them to enjoy the peaceful morning, savoring their breakfast at Bistro Wicwas - a table with a view.
Morning on the lake

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