My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Sunny Sunday

Osprey with nesting material

Osprey with nesting material!

I enjoyed today’s Sunny Sunday with temperatures reaching above 60°F. I finally opened my windows for the first time and let the kitties get some outside smells. At the entrance of Allegany State Park, I observed the Osprey pair doing some nest building. The male would go down into the grass and bring back a talon full of grass/sticks. I knew it was the male because I also watched them do a little copulation before gathering some of the nesting material!

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallows flying around!

I then found many more Tree Swallows chattering their call around the open fields and nest boxes. They have been around since last weekend but they were a little more cooperative in being within the camera lens range.


Buffleheads in the Beaver ponds!

I noticed many waterfowl around including 2 Common Loons in Quaker Lake, many Common Mergansers, Bufflehead, Hooded Mergansers, Ring-necked Ducks, Mallards and Canada Goose within the park. Yesterday we had a Long-tailed Duck over on Red House Lake (CHECK). Speaking of first of the year birds . . . I heard my first Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers doing their unique drumming today (CHECK)!

Looking for fish

What is up with this duck?

Since the weather has been exceptionally nice today . . . I decided before heading home to take a hike around Red House Lake. I didn’t expect to find this Common Merganser ignoring the people on the bike path while searching for minnows at the mouth of McIntosh Creek. It was great watching the bird stick its head under water and come up with some minnow or two.

Common Merganser

Just a Common Merganser hunting for minnows!

I can’t believe that I am saying it. . . . Winter has finally left the area (ya, ya . . snow is still at the top of the hills . . . . but it will be gone soon! )

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25 responses

  1. Tom

    Tom, very tame merganser! I found a pile of snow today covered in asphalt gravel- It hasn’t snowed here for a month! We are expecting highs here of 65 and above all next week- spring is truly here, saw my first mourning cloaks and cabbage whites today, and the map turtles were basking down on the river.


    6 April 2008 at 10:07 pm

  2. Lisa at Greenbow

    Golly Mon@rch, I don’t think it is “just” a COME. They are such handsome ducks. I don’t get to see an Osprey every year and you have them nesting. Oh life just isn’t fair. We had our first of the year Purple Martins, Great Egret, Forster’s Tern, Caspian Tern and Barn Swallows today. I guess life is good. I would take an Osprey if I could see it. You could shoo one over our way.

    6 April 2008 at 10:40 pm

  3. You had a great day. The osprey is awesome – ours just came back and for the first time — a pair! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I will see them with nesting material! Your merganser pictures are so cool. Love the ‘what’s up with this duck’…you are a witty one. I enjoy your casual style!

    6 April 2008 at 10:58 pm

  4. I can’t say that I’ve spotted a Common Merganser yet. They are neat-looking birds. We went looking yesterday but the thousands of waterfowl weren’t on the bay like they were the week before. They must have moved out into Lake Erie. Great photos.

    6 April 2008 at 11:33 pm

  5. Wonderful day. Great Osprey shot. Nothing common about your merganser! 🙂

    7 April 2008 at 12:00 am

  6. Sounds (and looks) like it was a beautiful day!!

    7 April 2008 at 12:09 am

  7. Love the photos. Thanks for sharing. Oh, and I wouldn’t jinx the weather just yet… The snow had finally melted quite a bit here when I mentioned something about it finally feeling like spring and then *bam* we were hit with a huge pile of snow! It looks beautiful but I am craving a little spring and summer now…

    7 April 2008 at 12:50 am

  8. Hurrah Woo Hoo …the snow is gone!!Good news!
    Sunny high 80’s here in AZ..having fun exploring!
    Love the photo of the ducks bobbing for treats underwater! sunkissed in Arizona NG

    7 April 2008 at 3:29 am

  9. Yay for spring!!! So cool to see that Osprey with nesting materials in flight.

    7 April 2008 at 6:48 am

  10. Spring has finally come! I still don’t know how you see many new species in one day, congradulations!

    7 April 2008 at 6:57 am

  11. @ Tom – I sure hope spring is here! Jen told me she had some butterflies today! I seemed to have missed them!
    @ Lisa – We actually have many nesting here! Congrats on the many great birds that you found!
    @ Bird Girl – Thanks and I will cross my fingers for you! Thanks
    @ Linda – You probably get many more Red-breasted Mergansers, which I have not seen yet! Commons nest around here and so we are lucky to see them year round!
    @ Liza – Thanks
    @ Heather – thanks
    @ Pinar – Thanks and I hope for the birds sake that I didn’t jinx anything! We do still have snow at the top of the hills!
    @ Naturegirl – I would have to think being in AZ is very fun right now! Send those migrant birds north!
    @ Jayne – Yay for sure! Thanks and was neat to see!
    @ Samuel – I might have been able to add another one or two but you really need to work for them! The Sapsucker . . . I heard, always looking on the lakes help with seeing the ducks!

    7 April 2008 at 7:16 am

  12. Wow Mon@arch, what a wonderful walk. The photo of the osprey fills me with awe. Their nests are so architectural. Thanks for sharing these photos and also you enthusiasm.

    7 April 2008 at 8:32 am

  13. Wow great pics, esp the Osprey – one of my faves!

    7 April 2008 at 9:21 am

  14. These are great photos and what a nice walk.

    7 April 2008 at 11:19 am

  15. Nice to see spring has made it to your coast 🙂 Great photos!

    7 April 2008 at 12:37 pm

  16. Beautiful pictures of spring winging its way north.

    7 April 2008 at 7:33 pm

  17. @ Caroline – so glad you enjoyed these! I love the osprey also!
    @ Rurality – thanks and they are great birds!
    @ Joan – thanks and was nice!
    @ Adam – Hey, you returned! Thanks
    @ Beth – thanks and I hope so!

    7 April 2008 at 7:52 pm

  18. Congratulations on finally getting to Spring! You can hear the difference in your posts. 🙂 Awesome on the osprey nest!

    8 April 2008 at 3:53 pm

  19. cathy Wilson

    Great osprey pix! wow.

    OK. I’ll take your word for it Tom – that winter is really really gone. (Promise?)

    8 April 2008 at 8:05 pm

  20. @ Lana – Thanks and I am finding myself eating outside, etc… very nice!
    @ Cathy – thanks and I try not to make promises that I can’t keep . . . weather man was talking about snow flakes but nothing that will stick . . I hope!

    8 April 2008 at 8:29 pm

  21. Awesome Pics! I especially like the Osprey and merganser. I didn’t see that many Bufflehead this year-less than usual in my area.

    8 April 2008 at 9:39 pm

  22. Bo

    The duck makes for a rather startling effect. Ah, hunting. Well then, that’s all good.

    9 April 2008 at 1:05 pm

  23. Grace

    What a great list of species.

    10 April 2008 at 10:55 pm

  24. @ Larry – thanks
    @ Bo – Thanks and I enjoyed that also!
    @ Grace – thanks

    10 April 2008 at 11:11 pm

  25. Neat osprey pix and behavior-watching!

    13 April 2008 at 9:58 pm

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