20160314 March melting, Byng Inlet, birdies

We are experiencing very variable weather this winter.  March is no exception.  The main thing is that we have virtually no ice cover (~10%) on the Great Lakes — a very different situation compared with the last two winters when we had heavy ice covers (around 90%) in mid March.  The high evaporation rates plus the lack of water content in the snow cover of the drainage  signals a low water summer for Georgian Bay this year.

Here are some pix taken over the last week or so:

Some early morning hoar frost, due to freezing temperatures, humid air and no wind …

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Riverside Drive:

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The last few minutes before sunshine finished off the ice crystals …

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Very different day with rain and fog, well above freezing …

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A Pileated Woodpecker (or two) spent a day cleaning out the grubs in this Elm which died due to Dutch Elm Disease about 5 years ago.  I am sorry that I missed the performance!

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Oft photographed corner post in the ground fog/rain.

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Bits of light reflecting off of raindrops here…

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Remnants of 100 year old dockage in Byng Inlet.

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Byng Inlet architecture:

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Late afternoon melting snow from Hwy 522:

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(shorter, square-tail, smaller beak, smooth throat feathers compared to Common RavenAmerican Crows have been back for about a week and are busy collecting baubles etc for their nests.  (Double click on its beak to see its whiskers!!)

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Pine Siskins are chattering in the willow and alder thickets …

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and are often seen with the Common Red Polls … who will be soon heading back up north for the summer.

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Nature lovers who wish to share their love with youngsters might be interested in this practice:

https://naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/connecting-young-children-with-nature/