Buffleheads, Backyard Beauties & Bike Rides

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

The weather has turned lovely and spring-like in the Niagara region, and I’ve been trying to get outdoors as much as possible. Throughout the winter we’ve been having occasional “Quack & Quaff” events — essentially, we go down to the lake and look at the ducks (that would be the “quack” part) and then head up the street to our favourite pub for a pint (or two). Over the past couple of weeks though, the weather has been so lovely that we’ve been going down to check out the duck action just about every day. (I’m not commenting on our beer consumption here). I’ve particularly enjoy watching the buffleheads, although I won’t admit to playing favourites. We’ve also noticed a funny little group of 3 ducks — 2 mallards and one white duck — that seem to stick together like glue. They just swim around in a little tripod formation, totally oblivious to the rest of the Port Dalhousie duck population. It is really cute to watch and I look for them each time we go down to the water.

And speaking of avian species, there is much action at the backyard feeders these days. In fact, I can hardly keep up with the demand for seed (although I suspect the fat squirrels in the yard might have something to do with this state of affairs). The typical cast of characters these days include: cardinals, blue jays, sparrows, chickadees, juncos, mourning doves, and a couple of woodpeckers (can’t tell if they are the downy woodpeckers or the hairy woodpeckers). There are also robins hopping around in the yard. When we were kids sighting the first robin of the year was such an exciting event and a sure sign of spring. While it is still exciting to see the robins, I was a little startled to discover that so many of them stay put throughout the winter in Niagara. (a side note: the Grackles have returned, but I’m pretending I don’t see them)

One sure sign of spring is the number of bikes out on the road these days. I reacquainted myself with my zippy little Electra Cruiser yesterday and did some errands on two wheels. There are new bike lanes on Lake Street (thank you, City of St. Catharines), so I am much more inclined to use my bike as a commuter vehicle this year.

One thought on “Buffleheads, Backyard Beauties & Bike Rides

  1. Great bird watching. The main difference between hairy and downy woodpeckers is size. If it is more the size of a grackle, it’s a hairy woodpecker.

    And I’m not surprised the robins hang around all winter. Niagara is practically tropical 🙂

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