Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wood frogs quacking

The unseasonably warm weather of the past few days has the spring wood frog chorus going in full quack. That's what they sound like - more like a duck than a frog. I counted about 150 mostly males serenading themselves and a few females along the south shore of Maxwell Lake in the largest group. Other males were calling individually or in small groups all along the shore and in the beaver pond right beneath the observation tower. Only a few males were clutching females, and there were no egg masses. This means that the main breeding period is still to come. As the water continues to warm the evening chorus will continue to swell.

An adult bald eagle flew over the lake while I was there, and 3 Wilson's snipe swirled down to roost in the dry sedges at dusk. Robin song filled the air, along with a few dark-eyed juncos and a solitary red-winged blackbird. There aren't many birds back yet, but those that are were busy establishing their territorial claims. I wasn't alone appreciating the fine evening - I counted 74 people in the hour and a half I was there.

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