Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Photos from the Maplewood Nature Center:

A Pair of Wood Ducks in a small pond along the Heron Loop

Shot of the Boardwalk going over the pond

A lot of wildlife along the boardwalk as migratory waterfowl returned to the pond in search of food and a quiet place to nest among the cattails and swamp grass; here a Canadian Goose eating a lily pad stem.

Tree Swallows wheeled over the surface of the pond, nabbing insects, pausing now and then to perch and sun themselves on the boardwalk

A Yellow-rumped Warbler perched along the boardwalk

The trees and reed beds were alive with the "rusty wheel" call of the Red-winged blackbird.

A photo of a Red-winged blackbird belting out its call. Eager to get at their nesting grounds, these are one of Minnesota's earlier Spring migrants, and can often be seen picking away at seed feeders in the late winter before shifting over to insects and cattails as the snows reside.

The MNC is always interesting. Such a unique location, with its shallow pond and handsomely maintained woodlands bordered by busy streets and suburban houses. It looks like the first pond lilies are starting to spread their buds, the elms begining to spread their budding leaves, and the earliest Marsh Marigold just about to pop.

On a short walk, we spotted or heard:
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Canadian Goose
  • Grackle, Common
  • Grey Squirrel
  • Mallard Duck
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Robin, American
  • Tree Swallow
  • Wood Duck
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler

No egrets or herons, though I have seen them in the park along 35W just North of Hugo. Weather is warm and sunny; pushing 50's in the morning. Spring Peepers and Chorus Frogs heard last night as the overnight temps slowly climb.

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