Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Spring!


May I present to you...my ice free pond! The combination of heavy rain last night and steadily above-freezing temperatures finally took their toll on the thin ice. I seem to remember Starflower taking her first swim when there was still ice on the pond a year or so ago. Maybe this weekend...

The pond is full, with a good flow through the outlet culvert. A big change from last summer, although other local ponds and lakes are still a bit low.

I had a good close bird encounter today. I was with a couple coworkers, checking trap nets we set on a local lake for northern pike. We had a good day for northerns, with a total of 80 caught, but our catch of the day was....a live horned grebe. And it was mad! We got it out of the net, but it was pecking at us with its amazingly sharp bill. We let it go over the shallow water, and it scooted far away from our nets. A definite first of year for me, and maybe a lifer...I'll have to check. But definitely a lifetime experience.

And I think I identified one of the unidentified bird sounds I heard last night. I had heard something that was definitely thrush like, and after listening to the call of the Wood Thrush I can almost positively say that's what it was! A new yard bird for here.

6 comments:

Penelope said...

Wow, that must have been quite an experience. Horned grebes are amazing-looking birds. I haven't yet seen one except in photos; my fiance spotted one, along with some sandhill cranes, a couple of days ago at a marsh south of the Twin Cities that he's been stopping at on his way home lately. I'm envious!

Floridacracker said...

The pond looks great. Lucky you to have a close encounter with a grebe.

Deb said...

Penelope- They are amazing looking, and small enough that I had a hard time identifying this one with my binoculars after we released it, when it was swimming about 200 yards away.

The cranes were making incredible noise here this morning. We are so fortunate to have a pair that nests in the swamp near our house.

FC- I am glad to see the water level up so high after last year, when it was about two feet lower. And it was nothing short of amazing looking a horned grebe eye to eye.

pablo said...

Wow, the white stuff really is gone. I think we shared our lake with a grebe when we were swimming one day. Didn't get pecked.

Carolyn H said...

Happy no ice day! I'll bet that grebe was angry! i'm glad it and everyone else survived.

Carolyn H.

RuthieJ said...

A wood thrush! You're so lucky, I've only heard that song once in my life and now you have one in your yard. That's really special!