Saturday, 21 April 2018

Spring Ritual

Always a joyous event, today was my first sighting of returning Tree Swallows to my property this year. Consequently, Number Six on my 'To Do List' was immediately promoted to Number One. Namely, Clean Out The Bird Boxes! I had removed the old nests from these boxes last Fall but mice like to overwinter in them. Evictions (without prior notice) are inevitable. 

A Tree Swallow grooms while holding dibs on a chosen box.

House Number Two has squatters! Sorry mice folk but you have to go!

Granted, you are a little cutie, but you have no rental lease. Time to bail!

The Tree Swallows are about a week late in arriving this year. I find this understandable because five days ago a major ice storm covered the whole region of Eastern Ontario. Freezing rain and high winds brought power outages, school closures and many ice related accidents. I took the following snaps:

Ice coatings and icicles on April 16th, 2018.

Fluffed and hunched, this American Robin found shelter from the storm.

A red squirrel checks for edibles among blown down spruce twigs.

I saw no coyote tracks at all last winter and only an occasional fox track. But last night, in the wee small hours I heard a coyote singing near the house. On today's hike, I came across fresh scat and coyote tracks in the mud. They are back, perhaps to raise a family in our bush lot. Of mice, there are aplenty! They should make a good living.

A sparkling stream beside our bush lot and pine grove.

A pair of Mallard ducks paddle downstream as I intrude on their privacy.