Springtime on the Pond

The American Robin has been obvious these days as I drive the roads around the pond. With the recent heavy snowfall covering up many of their feeding areas, they have had difficulty scrounging for food. They have been taking advantage of the areas along the roads where the plows have cleared soil free and worms can be found. Often thought as a harbinger of spring, Robins live year-round in Maine. More reliable a predictor of warm weather is the arrival of the Wood Duck. They nest in hollows of trees near the pond. The hollows in the trees are often carved out by Pileated Woodpeckers. A pair has been calling lately in the swamp around my home and I expect will be nesting soon.

A Robin searches for food below my crabapple. Crabapples provide a great source of food for birds in late winter and early spring.
A male Wood Duck, one of a pair, feeding in the cove in front of my home on Taylor Pond. They will soon be looking for a nesting site and laying eggs.
A Pileated Woodpecker feeding on a Red Maple in the swamp next to Taylor Pond. These birds carve out large nesting cavities that in following years are used by a variety of birds and mammals including Wood Ducks.

Ice Out

For the last 54 years, Taylor Pond Association has been tracking the date for the pond to be ice-free. The date has ranged from March 19 to May first with an average of April 14. This year will likely set a record with little ice seen on March 13. Just last week many folks were still ice fishing. Common Goldeneye Ducks and Hooded Mergansers have been spotted already, the loons will soon appear if not already. It’s beginning to feel like spring!

Ice piled up on shore from strong winds.
Air trapped in a chunk of ice on shore.
The ice forming an unusual pattern of holes as it starts to deteriorate.