The south branch of the South Nation river runs by the back door of Willow House. In the morning, I can lean on the kitchen counter and gaze out the window as I wait for my coffee to brew. The river is always interesting, but since the ice melted off, an assortment of waterfowl have been stopping by, causing me to rush for my camera. The above pair of Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus), shown near the beaver lodge, were very camera shy, swimming rapidly away or taking flight as soon as they caught sight of me.
This pair of Canada geese (Branta canadensis), who spent the afternoon enjoying the sun at the edge of the river, were more co-operative, though still wary.
Three pairs of Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) floated by and then paddled back up stream.
A Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and his missus spent a few hours grooming themselves on the shore.
Passerines (songbirds) such as these Common Grackles (Quiscalus quiscula) also use the river to bathe and drink.
At the end of the day, the river and its occupants settle down … or start their busy night’s activity … as the sun sets.
*Creedence Clearwater Revival: Lookin’ Out My Back Door