Potted Wrens

By . July 1st, 2015. Posted in Wildlife

For the second summer, our ingenious wren neighbors have built their nest among the flowers on the front porch. As Mike and I were planting the containers this spring, we reminisced about last year’s family ( their babies are here ). Watching the five fluffy babies explore the world outside their coleus “forest” was delightful, and perfectly timed. We noticed this year’s nest as construction began. The male and female wrens are co-builders, and we watched them hopping in and out of the container with nesting material in their beaks. In fact, the pair … Read More

Musings on a Lab Named Boo

By . June 19th, 2015. Posted in Wildlife

Boo, our well-loved and much-missed yellow Lab, had a special rapport with his fellow creatures. Mike and I have been musing about this and other Boo-isms as we arrive at the anniversary of his sad goodbye. Our gregarious Boo made a friend of every human and dog he met. His vibe with the local wildlife, however, was distinctly Cowardly-Lion-ish. He had an urgent “BARK!!” for deer, and an annoyed “Huffffffff” for a flock of geese honking overhead. Boo would even give a half-hearted chase to impress the invading bunny in … Read More

Ospreys and Geese, Right on Time

By . May 5th, 2015. Posted in Wildlife

Finally, it feels like spring, and our migrating ospreys and resident geese are as happy as we are. The two bird couples, as different as they are, each hatch their young in May. Happily, it looks like this year’s broods are well underway. The ice on Harris Creek had barely melted when the goose mates reappeared on our shoreline. For a few weeks, the happy couple were daily visitors…sunning themselves, dining on our apparently delicious grasses, and taking turns as lookout for the munching mate. While most Canada geese are … Read More

Swans on Ice

By . January 27th, 2015. Posted in Wildlife

The tundra swans have returned to our Chesapeake peninsula and apparently discovered the perfect spot for this year’s stay. These beautiful birds migrate in large flocks from their summer breeding grounds on the Arctic coastal plain. Mike and I usually watch their leisurely flotillas swimming by ( see them here ), but this year Harris Creek has frozen quite far from our shoreline. On the edge of the ice as it meets the still-flowing water in the center of the creek, the swans seem to have settled into (and claimed…more on that later) … Read More

Mallard Finds a Meal…and a Mate

By . November 18th, 2014. Posted in Wildlife

Our Chesapeake home offers daily views of songbirds at the feeders and water birds just off our shoreline. But a mallard at the feeders? That was quite a surprise. We first saw this resourceful juvenile mallard last summer. Somehow, she had found her way to our bird feeders near the house. Mike always sprinkles extra seed on the ground under the feeders, and she was munching away. Although she looked around frequently to do a safety check, the little duck nibbled at her feast for several minutes. Then she waddled … Read More