When the ice went out, spring just exploded around the lakes. Within the course of just a few days a whole season's worth of new life appeared as everyone who was waiting arrived at once. Just some of new arrivals include the migrating waterfowl such as mergansers, buffleheads, wood ducks, ring-necked ducks, and of course, the loons.
|Mr. and Mrs. Merganser|
|Ring-neckeds can run on water!|
And my favorite pair of wood ducks has appeared on the lake, hopefully to nest again around Marion Cove.
|What a handsome couple|
Most of the ducks are shy and keep their distance, but a pair of mallards came right up and put on a show: Click here to watch.
Marge Thorpe got a good look at what is most likely one of our nesting loons while it was fishing near shore.
|Marge Thorpe photo|
I'm pretty sure I got a glimpse of the silver and white bands on one of the several loons present, but I'll wait for positive confirmation before I'm sure our nesting female has returned.
There were also more songbirds appearing including phoebes, thrushes and several different warblers. They're here knowing there will soon be a smorgasbord of insects for them to feed upon, which means the arrival of some less welcome visitors as well.
And let's not forget the mammals; both muskrats and beavers are now out plying the lake. As soon as there was open water around the edge of the lake the beavers started their evening patrols, looking for food and building materials, and mounding piles of debris up on the shore.
|but then sneaking back to scope out the blueberry bushes|
Perhaps you've noticed the increasing size of some of the beaver lodges. The one visible from Chemung Road in particular is now towering above the lake. It looks like it will be another active year with the beavers - watch out for those precious trees and shrubs! A simple wrap of chicken wire will usually protect them.
So while all the animals have declared spring is here, I'll close with two interesting views of what the lake looked like just one week ago, and which show how the wind and sun let the ice form in the fall and then take it away again in the spring.
|The dark ice in the middle was the last section to freeze in December|
From now on, pictures will be of shining blue liquid!