February 21st – A New Neighbour

While checking the feeders at the Farm, I was surprised to find this new beaver lodge in the pond – a welcome addition to the fauna of our ecosystem. -DOL

Yesterday I went out to the Farm to check on the feeders and to see if anything was going on – this is that exciting time of year when migrants start to show up in small numbers, whetting your appetite for the bonanza to come. I noticed that the pons was almost completely ice free, just a few rotten fragments left in the more shaded areas. And then, to my great surprise, I noticed that we had a new addition to the area: a beaver lodge! In the past two years I’ve seen a beaver move through the pond but never any indication that it was interested in staying. But I guess I was wrong. I wonder what kind of impact it will have on the surrounding vegetation. I hope it takes down a lot of the walnuts. And wouldn’t it be great if it had hankering for buckthorn?! [Take a close look at that picture and you will find, just to the left of the lodge, a turtle sunning platform, one of two donated by a volunteer. Last year one could see multiple turtles using it….until a pair of Canada Geese took it over and built a nest and raised several young.]

Spring was certainly in the air, especially when I heard the konk-la-reee of a small group of 4 Red-winged Blackbirds, the first I’d encountered this year. Always an uplifting sound at this time of year. What was particularly interesting about this group was that two of them were females. Usually females lag behind the migrating males a lot. This was unlike today when I was hiking the Rotary Riverside Trail between Caledonia and Cayuga. A flock of 9 Red-wings flew by, 9 stunning males with jet black plumage highlighted by brilliant red epaulettes.

Things are on the move….and that’s always exciting.

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