In The Wind

A song sparrow near Saylorville Lake in Jester Park, Iowa, April 5, 2018.

“Spring will be sweeter for the wait,” he sang.

The song sparrow strained to make his voice heard over the roar of the wind. With a reassuring glance, he flew to the ground to search for seeds.

The morning began at dawn further north on the bank of Saylorville Lake. The sky was heavily overcast. I was looking for a way to be closer to a group of migrating ducks swimming in the lake. I heard an unexpected and unfamiliar sound. There were two or three river otters in the lake! They climbed over one another while watching me. Then, they slipped away quickly swimming south.

Even though the migrating ducks were at least a quarter of a mile away, they flew off as I walked in their direction along the edge of the lake.

Before leaving the park, I checked the pond in the Bison and Elk Enclosure. Two male northern shoveler ducks fed in the pond. They swam in circles stirring up the food particles in the water and then sifting them in their bills. A pair of bufflehead ducks dove for their food. Numerous Canadian geese were in the pond and on the grass.

Shortly after I arrived, a male and a female northern shoveler duck flew in. A ruckus ensued when one of the original male ducks approached the new pair with his head bobbing. The interloper male and the female circled one another squawking and flapping their wings. The partner of the female left the fray and floated by the other original male duck who continued to feed throughout the conflict.

Soon, the interloper male made peace with his rejection and all four of the ducks turned their attention to feeding. During the northern shoveler duck confrontation, the Canadian geese had their own noisy dispute. You can hear their protests in the background of the first video.

Northern cardinals sang in the woods across the road.

Northern cardinals singing in the woods in Jester Park, Iowa, April 5, 2018. Other birds can be heard singing and calling in the background.

River otters in Saylorville Lake in Jester Park, Iowa, April 5, 2018.

Migrating ducks at dawn in Saylorville Lake, Iowa, April 5, 2018.

Two male northern shoveler ducks feeding in a pond in Jester Park, Iowa, April 5, 2018.

Two male northern shoveler ducks feeding in a pond in Jester Park, Iowa, April 5, 2018. When a male and a female northern shoveler duck flew in, a ruckus ensued as one of the original males tried to disrupt the new pair. There were many Canadian Geese in or near the pond and they were engaged in disputes of their own. The calls of the Canadian geese can be heard in the background.

A pair of northern shoveler ducks feeding in a pond in Jester Park, Iowa, April 5, 2018. A pair of bufflehead ducks dove nearby.

Two male northern shoveler ducks feeding in a pond in Jester Park, Iowa, April 5, 2018.

Take care and thanks for reading.

Sarah

 

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