Friday, March 27, 2009

Ice-out waterfowl

Right on schedule, the winter ice is receding from Stony Lake. The Burleigh Channel, and other sections with current, are now ice-free. As the bays open up, waterfowl are staging as they wait for more northerly lakes to thaw.

Today in Dunford's Bay, the gang included, in decreasing order of abundance, Common Merganser, Hooded Merganser, Ring-necked Duck, Canada Goose, Mallard, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, American Wigeon, American Black Duck and Wood Duck. On two of my last three visits, single Bald Eagles were patrolling the ice edge where winter killed fish can be expected. All can be viewed leisurely from the public landing at the bottom of Dunford Road, about 1.5 km south of the Big Cedar General Store, northeast of Burleigh Falls.

[On the Mississauga River, where it is crossed by CR 36, just east of Buckhorn, I saw my first Pied-billed Grebe of the season this afternoon.]

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