March 1, 2010

Wet and Wild

Last weekend's storms brought in big rains, big wind, and big birds.  As of today, the dike trail is submerged in chest deep water and the parking lot and Edge Trail have assumed their spring-time role as the river frontage.  The Black Duck Trail is just that, and at dusk a muskrat was swimming circles around the legs of the kiosk.

Quite a contrast from last year at this time.

The quickly melting ice is now a flutter with greater black-backed and ring-billed gulls noisily feeding on carp which they pull up through ever widening holes.  Returning red-wings are singing from stranded shrubbery.  Today they were joined by an immature bald eagle, seen feeding this morning by refuge biologist, Jason St. Sauver.  I got a close look at him in the mid-afternoon as he flew low over the tower where I was standing.  A number of eagles are in the area and it's likely that they'll be feeding out on the ice in the coming week.

Top - Flooded dike trail ("Ford", cont. by Anne Whitaker), 2.27.10
Bottom - Stillness at sunset (by Cherrie Corey), 3.3.09

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