Spring Around the Yard

Everything is greening up after a gray, gray winter.  Our summer visitors are returning.  This pair of geese has been nesting somewhere near our pond for many years now.  Despite the small size of the pond, we’ve never been able to find their nest.  Each May/June goslings show up, sometimes a few and sometimes many.  The adult pair knows us and our dogs, allowing us to come close, trusting we mean no harm.  It’s like having pet geese.Spring Flowers (2 of 31)As relaxed as the dogs are about the geese, the Great Blue Heron always gets them riled up.  Maybe its because he’s so stealthy that he seems to come from nowhere. Regardless, sometimes he tolerates the barking and sometimes he squawks loudly in reprimand as he flies off.  I see him occasionally some winters, but since our pond freezes, he spends most of his winter elsewhere.  Now that spring is here, he is hunting the shoreline everyday. GB Heron (17 of 19)
The osprey pair is back from their winter in the South.  The cell tower where they’ve nested the last few years was taken down and with it, their nest.  They are rebuilding close-by and are back fishing our pond.  May 2016 (37 of 71)

Along the restored area of the shoreline where I’ve planted natives and pulled out invasives, the bull frogs are thriving.  There are some monsters out there, easily bigger than my hand!  There must’ve been a dozen or more sunning all along the shore, two-by-two, preparing to make more frogs.

The songbirds are jockeying for nesting spots.  A pair of chickadees seems to have successfully fended off the house sparrows and claimed one box.  That’ll be fun, they haven’t nested in our yard before. April 2017 (54 of 78) The tree swallows are eyeing one of the other nest boxes in the back yard and soon the house wrens will be back to claim their usual spot in the front yard. The robins are building a nest in the big willow at the ponds edge, not a smart choice as its on the raccoon’s regular route.  Maybe they’ll see they need to build elsewhere before the eggs are laid.

As the spring migrants are making their brief appearances, the juncos have left for their summering grounds in the north.  The white-breasted nuthatch, song sparrow and the white-capped sparrows are making their stop along their migration at our feeders. The red-bellied woodpecker has been a more frequent visitor this spring as well. April 2017 (70 of 78)
The wood-ducks are making their annual spring appearance.  I always hope they’ll stay around for the season, yet they always move on.  They’re rather skittish and probably don’t appreciate the activity of our yard.  It’s always fun to see them in the spring, though.
geese 2015 (19 of 19)

I enjoy watching the wildlife as their routines change with the seasons.  Despite the variations in weather, they come and go like clockwork.  It’s fun to get to know my regulars.  Each new season brings a new experience or a new animal and I get to watch it all unfold.

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