2006 Notes From The Beaver Pond
January 21-22 2006 The first visit to the pond for 06 was a winter wonder land with a fresh snow and no waterfowl but plenty of Coyotes and a lone Beaver that made a great deal of noise as it busted its way through the ice only to spend a moment catching its breath and then sinking below the ice to continue its swim.
On the second day I noticed a Coyote about 120 feet from me across the pond come out of the woods and walk the bank until he found some soft weeds to bed down, he scratched at the weed making a bed and lay down yawned and went to sleep for about and hour and a half till a large flock of crows making a bunch of noise woke him. He slowly got up out of his bed stretched and headed back up into the woods, it was great!
January 28, 2006 Got out to the pond early around 6:30 am and it was not a good morning. The heavy overcast and chance of rain made me a bit nervous bringing my equipment in the woods but heck the drive is to strong. Early I was able to listen to a pare of Horned Owls mournful sound echoing in the distance. Much of the ice has melted in the pond and the water level is over where I setup last weekend so I had to find a new place to hide. A Muskrat popped up out of the water about 30 feet in front of me allowing a few pic before he moved on. Three Canada geese landed on the pond and a female climbed upon the Beaver lodge looking I'm sure for place to nest, maybe the same ones from last year. A Great Blue Heron flew the length of the pond as it headed out of sight.
February 5, 2006 Very cold this morning with temps in the twenties and a wind chill around 12, but there is supposed to be some sunshine so I am hoping for some good light. I got into the woods around 6:30am and it was a frozen world, there was a light snow last night and everything seemed brittle as I crunched my way to a spot next to the pond. After I got setup it was only about a half hour later that a Muskrat
started feeding while on a partially submerged log about 30 feet in front of me, he would dive bringing up some aquatic plant and then eat and do it again so I was able to get a few shots. There were some geese in and out of the pond a few times this morning but not much else was happening, still no ducks. I made it till eleven then decided to pack it in, there was a coyote moving through the woods on the opposite bank and Idid manage to get a few shots at a distance before I left. .
February 11 - 12, 2006 Great weekend at the pond, cold but very enjoyable being out in nature and seeing some wonderful animals in a dream like envoirment. We had snow both Friday and Saturday night and the pond was mostly froze over with the fresh snow looking wonderful both mornings. Beaver, Muskrats, Coyote, Great Blue Heron could be seen at the pond. I watched a pack of four Coyote Saturday morning working the banks looking for a meal one stopped to watch a Beaver swim by and when the Beaver gave its warning by slapping his tail on the water they moved on. Sunday morning early while setting up my equipment a Coyote could be heard down the way barking and raising heck for about 7 min before the pond went silent once again and I settled in for a long cold wait.
February 26, 2006 Well I couldn't wait to get back to the pond it's been a while but I knew due to the cold it would be froze over, and it was. I also know as soon as all the ice is gone I can look forward to some ducks hanging around but until then I will have to wait. It was cold this morning wind chill around 9 and there wasn't much wind, I think I must be getting used to it because it didn't seem to bad. I saw one Redtail Hawk nearby and a pair of Canada geese that were there on top of the Beaver lodge when I arrived but left after about an hour, they did come back for a bit but while they were away three Coyotes did some hunting around the bank lodge for about ten minutes and then wandered off. I stayed till about 10:30am and then made my exit. and headed over to the park to find a pair of Trumpeter swans.
March 4, 2006 Got out to the pond at 6:30 am this morning it was supposed to be a sunny day but that didn't really happen till about 11:00 but it was still a nice morning the temperature wasn't bad but there wasn't much happening for a while. There were three Canada geese when I got there this morning but left after about an hour. When the sun did really start to shine just before eleven a Red tail hawk showed up in the tree tops across from where I was setting. Finely four male and two female Wood ducks landed and spent some time feeding and then they all had a quick nap and then swam out of site
March 11, 2006 Nice spring like morning at the pond, got there around 6:30 there were three Canada geese on the pond and large flock of Wood ducks and a common Merganser. After about an hour another small flock of Wood ducks flew by and I seen a Northern Shoveler with them, another hour went by before the swam into view allowing me to get a few shots. I saw my first turtle of the year, really there were many turtles claiming space on any available log to warm in the morning sun, spring is here!
March 12, 2006 Foggy wet morning got into the woods at 6:00 am this morning hoping for a lot of ducks but it wasn't to be. Had the three Canadas for company through out the morning and a lone Woodduck made the rounds. A little before 7:00 am a pair of Coyotes move through the woods on the opposite bank and returned at 8:10 am and I got a couple shot. The sunshine was off and on with the clouds and when the wind wasn't blowing it was really a nice morning. About an hour before we left two Mallards, and a pair of Male Wood ducks and a pair of Gadwalls flew in but were kind of far away I was able to get a quick shot of the Galdwalls as the swam farther away.
March 18, 2006 Beautiful sunny morning at the pond I arrived a little past 6:00 am and could see three Canada geese and a pair of Mallards were down a bit from where I was going to be. It wasn't long before Wood ducks flew in and started doing a lot of vocalizing, it really added to the moment. The resident Beavers swam into the area from there night out and stopped to eat a little before they entered there lodge for sleep. There were about 8 Gadwalls that swam by and spent some time near where I sat. A few Sparrows kept me glued to the camera till I decided to pack it up around 11:00 am and call it a morning.
March 19, 2006 Another sunny day at the pond, early this morning a Mink was causing quite a fuss on the small beaver lodge, the Canada geese that our planing on using the top for a nest. The geese circled the lodge looking for the Mink tell he finely left and all was well. I saw nine Northern Shovelers fly over the pond but didn't land were I was. There were eight Wood ducks hanging around on the opposite bank. A pair of Hood Mergansers flew in and were doing some serious fishing with a lot of success. A Coyote showed up and the geese and Mergansers quickly moved to the center of the pond till he moved on.
March 25, 2006 Got to the pond at a little past 6:00 am this morning and observed a Coyote hunting the opposite bank so I waited till he left area before I moved in and setup. The three Canada geese that have claimed the pond were there this morning keeping all other geese away. Three Blue wing teal flew in and came close enough to allow me a few shots. There were about 6 Wood ducks in and out of the pond, along with a pair of Gadwall. A Kindfisher was working the pond with its very vocal fishing technique. I saw 10 Northern Shovelers fly over and one Common Merganser fly by.
March 26, 2006 Beautiful morning at the pond, I saw plenty of Muskrat activity today and a few ducks in and out of the pond. There were four Blue wing teal and a number of Wood ducks, I did see four Golden eye fly in but never seen them again as they swam up a small creek. There were three different Kingfishers doing some fishing in the area. Woodpeckers could be heard throughout the woods, a female Wood duck landed in a tree near where I was and was checking out a hole for a nest. There were people in the area which reduced my chances of getting some shot but it was a really nice morning just listening to nature.
April 1 & 2, 2006 Saturday gray gloomy morning at the pond the wind was a pain and not much happening. There were a few Wood ducks on the pond but not coming close, the Song Sparrows were making their beautiful music and I could see a Black-capped Chickadee on the dead tree that is about thirty feet off shore, I think this is a possible nesting site for the pair that have been hanging around the holes in the tree. A Pied-billed Grebe had been swimming and diving down at one end of the pond and finely worked its way by me. Sunday morning, another gray morning with a chance of rain and storms, I was only there from about 7:00 am till 9:45 am when the rains started. I did see four Great blue herons, Song Sparrows, Turkey Vultures, Mallards, Wood ducks, Northern Harrier, Muskrat and the Canada goose is setting on the nest, so she laid her eggs between my time there on Saturday and Sunday morning.
April 5, 2006 Went out to the pond at 12:00 PM today and what a beautiful day. Great blue herons were spending some time nearby in the trees and fishing along the bank, I seen four. Wood ducks were on the pond I seen eight in one group, a lone Gadwall was on the pond as was a Pied-billed Grebe. A Kingfisher was doing what they do best although when it was down by me it was doing a lot of diving and coming up empty. The nesting geese went though some alarming time with the Mink down in the Beaver lodge were their nest is causing the female to get off the nest and the male to spread his wings trying to get him out of the lodge.
May 20-21 2006 What a great weekend at the pond, Saturday and Sunday I got to the pond early around 6:00 am, just like I like it, and would stay till about 11:00. The pond was full of activity this weekend the Beaver were very active for the first few hours I was there, both days deer would visit and feed on the lush pond vegetation. Coyotes were hunting the surrounding woods and the pond edge, the Beaver would sound there alarm when the Coyotes would show up. The Great blue herons were in and out of the area were I was through out the morning unaware of my presents. I took about 200 photos this weekend, what fun.
May 27 2006 Warm day at the pond, spent from 6:00 am till 2:00 pm. The Orioles were busy carrying nesting material and chancing each other. The little Wood ducklings were out with a swim with their mom, they passed me early and came back the other way right before I left. The pond looks as though it could use some water a lot of vegetation is covering the surface.
June 24, 2006 First time this month I have been to the pond and I must say it has really grown up and looks a bit choked with vegetation. What a beautiful day it got down into the fifties last night to make a great morning. The Great blue herons were very active on the pond as was the Kingfishers, actually a pair. It was very hard to find a good place to setup my equipment with all plants grown up around the pond so I didn't really have much of a window for my camera from my point of view but I was still able to get a few pics.
June 24, 2006 Got to the pond early today it was mostly cloudy with some mixed sun early. I had three Great blue heron land in a tree near where I was setup, they spent about an hour there preening and grunting before they left one at a time. A family of Kingfishers were all over the place with one that was being brought fish and crayfish by one of the parents. There was three mother Wood ducks with young on the pond.
July 8 - 9, 2006 I made it to the pond both Saturday and Sunday before 7:00 am and stayed till noon. Everything is so grown up and finding a spot with a open view is not easy but that did not stop me from setting up and enjoying my time there. The many swallows were hanging out high on the branches of a dead tree about 40 feet from where I was, there were some young ones in the mix with mouths wide open screaming for food. The Kingfishers were making there rounds back and forth to their selected trees around the pond. The wood duck mothers continue to lead their young around the pond, sizes range from small to almost as big as an adult.