Spring is slow to arrive this year. We finally got outside yesterday afternoon to work in the yard a bit and to roast some hot dogs in our fire pit.
My mini-greenhouses are waiting patiently for some warmer temps to get the seeds going. I peeked in them and saw that the kale seeds have already sprouted!
The chickens enjoyed their first day outside free-ranging.
Our vegetable garden is a sad sight. Last year we were already in the garden tilling by mid-March.
The frost has not gone out of the ground yet, so in addition to the remaining snow, standing water is scattered all over the grounds.
Everything is brown and drab.
Wildlife is on the move though. We noticed hundreds of robins out in our hayfield and in the trees over the weekend. Geese were honking down by the river and a few flew right through the yard headed in that direction.
We also noticed some strange-looking birds down by the river. I didn’t have my telephoto lens on the camera, so I snapped a few photos and zoomed in on the images once I uploaded them to the computer. It took me some time searching through images to identify these crazy looking birds, but I finally did…Hooded Merganser. We have never seen them around here, or at least we have never noticed them before.
The bird identification site had this to say about the Hooded Merganser:
“Hooded” is something of an understatement for this extravagantly crested little duck. Adult males are a sight to behold, with sharp black-and-white patterns set off by chestnut flanks. Females get their own distinctive elegance from their cinnamon crest. Hooded Mergansers are fairly common on small ponds and rivers, where they dive for fish, crayfish, and other food, seizing it in their thin, serrated bills. They nest in tree cavities; the ducklings depart with a bold leap to the forest floor when only one day old.