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Scarlet Quince Ramblings

Cross stitch ... life ... art

Good day for ducks
March 7th, 2010

It has rained a little, but actually this turned out to be a good day to SEE ducks. Our usual joke is that we won’t see any ducks but we won’t know why until we go — no ducks, ducks too far away, sun in the wrong place, raining, too dark, etc. — but this time it worked out. We went down to Hornsby Bend (which sounds as if it might be nice but is actually the local sewage ponds) and there were some interesting ducks and water birds!

There were about 20 white pelicans (which we’ve NEVER seen around here before), a cinnamon teal (also very unusual around here), and several American pipits! A pipit looks like a cross between a thrush and a sparrow, and we probably wouldn’t have figured out what it was except that I noticed that it had black legs. It turns out that not many birds have black legs.

Then there was the usual horde of shovellers, lots of ruddy ducks, the odd green-winged teal, a couple of buffleheads (probably my favorite duck; they’re so perky), and several eared grebes starting to get their summer “ears”. There was a cormorant trying to dry its wings, without any luck since it’s thoroughly overcast.

I wished I had taken my camera because there were masses of early flowers (ok, weeds). Swathes of purple mints and masses of yellow mustards. The wood floor was covered with intensely green bedstraw (Galium aparine). It has tiny white flowers but its most noticeable feature is those spring-green leaves, in whorls of 6. It’s a dreary day but that’s just the way (some) spring days should be. (Obviously, you can take the girl out of Michigan but you can’t take the Michigan out of the girl.)

We stopped at the Applied Materials ponds on the way home, as always. For some reason it always has completely different ducks. This time we saw gadwalls, American widgeons, scaups, a redhead, and a pied-billed grebe.

All in all, a good day for ducks!

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