Miraculously we hit 70 degrees on Sunday and out came the kayaks!
I live in central Massachusetts and not that long ago we were buried under over 4 feet of snow. Even though the front walkway, the deck and the back half of the driveway have been clear for a few weeks now, I still expect to walk out my door to huge snow mounds.
Finally, we are into the warm weather: grass turning green, red buds on the maples, spring peepers singing at night and the robins greeting the dawn. And it’s actually becoming light at 5:45 am! My favorite season of the year.
The Blackstone and Quinsigamond rivers run through my hometown of Grafton and water levels are high. Rich and I kayaked on Lake Ripple which has a dam and other smaller waterfalls:
The thrill of the day was this duck sighting:
These ducks were very accommodating; I was able to watch them for a long while. They even got out of the water and walked on a nearby lawn. Waddling around they looked comical, quite the contrast from their elegance in the water.
But I have yet to identify them! I am thinking the grey one with the tuft on the head is a female and either a Hooded or Common Merganser. I believe the second duck is a male Common Merganser as the head is actually dark green. There appears to be a yellow eye ring. No clue at all regarding the third duck who was totally black!
If any of you out there know your ducks and can identify them, please leave a comment and let me know. Are they migrants passing through or native to central Massachusetts?
Addendum: Mystery solved. Someone from the The Great Backyard Bird Count Facebook group said they are domestic mallards. She wrote further, “The one with the puffy head is a crested mallard – that’s a genetic deformity that’s been bred into them. Note the different colors and patterns and long bodies, characteristics of domestic mallards. Hooded mergansers are short-bodied and compact, and all mergansers have very distinctive, saw-toothed bills.”
The snow does eventually melt away and things do get better!
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