20170325-28 End of March Wildlife and Buds

A warm spell melted some ice which encouraged some birds to pass through on their way north.  This Hooded Merganser was with a half dozen others in the pond next to Big Lake.

Centre Island Goose??

Do you know these geese?

Note the huge differences with the solo swimming Canada goose above.

The above are part of a flock of 8 geese photographed (a long ways away) at about 9:00 am in Dave and Irene’s hayfield.  They are Greater White-fronted Geese a long ways East of their normal flyway.

I recall the Palamars talking about hunting Specklebellies in Northern Saskatchewan.

Audubon has a good photo album and a range map here:

http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/greater-white-fronted-goose

The animated graphic on the bottom of the above page (click “learn more”)  indicates that we’ll be seeing more of the GWFG.

Meanwhile….

Deciduous buds continued to awaken from their winter dormancy…

Like this Tag Alder…  with the near male catkin (still closed) hanging below the female “cone” catkin (which is out of focus in the distance).

A more advanced Tag Alder, with the female cones starting to open along with the upper portion of a male catkin.  The male catkins contain the pollen which wind-pollinate the cones (or female catkins).

Last year’s cone from a willow…

Red Maples are starting to open …

… as are the pussy willows:

Below:  No, not a pussywillow but the emerging catkin of a poplar tree.  Populus is a Genus of the Willow family.   This poplar tree is growing along the road beside a former trailer park so it is probably a hybrid related to the Balsam Poplar, maybe the fragrant but messy Balm of Gilead.

I’ll follow a few of these buds this spring to bring you updates as they mature.  Unfortunately they will be in reverse chronological order!

There isn’t  much of a time relationship with the following “artistic photographs” so I’ll slip them in here:

Abstract Ditch Water:

Abandoned Homestead, Hartley Bay Road:

Snowflurry over Twin Rivers Bridge: