Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ranger's Marsh

June 15, 2011

Upon entering the marsh a female Goldfinch flushed from a Sand Willow bush. I looked in the bush and there was the nest.

Nestled in a fork of the willow is the Goldfinch's nest. Made of spider's web, grass and feathers it holds two white and brown eggs.

Wading the edge of the marsh I enter the territory of nesting Red Wing Blackbirds.This is a male, females are brown. This bird is trying to lead me away from his nesting family.

Earlier I noticed two large dark shapes in a dead tree some distance away. Wondered what it might be but no second thoughts. Later, one of the shapes took flight in my direction. I had stirred the interest of a Bald Eagle, it circled a few times.

Then rejoined its mate. They spiraled upward on the air currents until the were out of sight. With a wing span of 10 feet, they are an impressive sight.

Not many flowering wild flowers at this time and this one is unknown to me. I'll find out what it is and post later. May be a Foxglove.

The flower of a wild pea, likes to grow on gravel.

June 23, 2011

 A Snowy Egret with its Yellow Bullhead Catfish lunch. That fish is big enough to fry!

 In the middle left of this photo a Purple Martin hunts for insects, while the Egret fish.

 A Mallard Duck pair decide that I'm a little to close and make a quick get-away.

 First time seeing giant snail shells in the marsh.  These shells are over 2 inch long, this snail is called an Apple Snail in the pet shops.

 The first flowers of a Marsh Milkweed.

 Milkweed Bug feeds on a common Milkweed.  The sap of the milkweed is poisonous to most creatures but not this Bug.

 A star shaped flower, I don't know what this plant is called but will update when I do. 

 Back at the beaver pond, I spooked a family of Wood Ducks. I counted five ducklings and the mother.

 The mother hen Wood Duck, she acts as tho she is physically challenged, hoping to lead me away from her young ducklings.

A yellow warbler kind of bird, I'll ID later.

 Here's one I know, a Red-Wing Blackbird. The most obvious of the birds that reside in the marsh.

Deer tracks in the Mud Flats. I see lots of deer tracks and I follow the deer trails thru the tall prairie grasses but the deer are hard to see.