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    • Rick

      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

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Who's seeing what???

Lots of goslings in the north metro and Zimmerman area. No ducklings yet but the geese get a head start in that department. 

On the Homefront it looks like 5 of the 13 geese that were raised in the lake survived the fall and came back this spring. It will be interesting to see if any of them nest here next season or if they will make their home nesting pond elsewhere. There are 3-nesting pairs on the lake. Up from last seasons 2pairs. The first group to hatch has 4 goslings. I was hoping for more, but it's a start. There is an eagle that likes to hunt the lake in the evenings and has developed a taste for young waterfowl, so the more that hatch out the more we can get through to fall. 

As far as ducks go it's still too early to tell. My Woodduck boxes are empty, but there are several pairs that have found natural cavities to nest in. I also know of a nesting pair of bluewings and one remaining pair of mallards. My tubes went out a week or so late and are mostly vacant. Only ine is being used. One other hen got snatched off her nest so that was a bummer. There is a group of 4-drake mallards that are hanging out here. I'm not sure if ducks have the same homing instinct ot tendency that geese do, but it's possible that they are what returned from last seasons brood. There were 8 young if the year that left here last October.

 

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have seen both geese and ducks with babies waddling around the elk river/Zimmerman area.  In fact saw a momma and her ducklings trying to cross 169 around Catlin Lake on Sunday eve...they almost didn't make it and almost caused an accident as a vehicle tried to swerve to miss them and almost lost control!  Crazy sight!! 

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Goslings started showing up last week in central MN but no ducklings that I've seen.  The wood duck pair that claimed the box I put out have finally started to go INTO the box while we're outside.  Up till last weekend if we were anywhere in sight of the box they would just do a fly by and go roost in a different tree till we went back into OUR house.

They've stayed sneaky on their approaches.  First it was land in the river upstream and drift down just off the bank to the house, then go in.  After getting spooked a few times, they'd drift down mid-river to scope the area.  Then to the fly bys.

I didn't expect them to be that spooky after watching the ducks using the houses on Mille Lacs last spring.  Those ducks didn't seem to care if people were visible.  I'm just glad I can expect a successful nest this year and will be putting out more boxes deeper in the trees for next spring.

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I think I saw  my first goslings of the year about April 28th.  Two broods of seven and one with thirteen.  I saw some mallards on the 7th of May.  I haven't seen any wood ducks yet.

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Saw mama duck on Minnewashta she had a lot of ducklings.  I didn't count, but I'll guess 10ish.  

Last night I see 4 adult geese with 1 gosling.  However the EP Home Depot flock has a nice group coming up.  

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Finally saw some little fuzz ball woodies last weekend.  I accidental concerned mama in a log jam doe when they blew out, she did the wounded duck fly out.

It was amazing how well those little guys could dive and how far they could swim underwater already for looking like they just came out of the box!

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I was out on the pond yesterday and saw the two week old mallards.  They were around the end of the pond about 150 yds away when the hen went kind of nuts quacking flying and splashing.  Next thing I notice is a few of the ducklings hiding in the grass near the shore.

_75B3341-as-Web.jpg

The hen quieted down and about 5 minutes later she came swimming around the end of the pond with 3 of the nine ducklings.  She gave a couple quacks and the other 6 of the ducklings came out of the grass tight on momma's tail.  They quickly shot past me and I got a photo that I call "SCRAM" because they all scrammed out of there!

Scram.jpg

Then the 4 day old woodies came by and stopped on a submerged log.  Their momma has been very protective and has kept them hidden in the cover.  I did get photos of a couple of them.  So far only one brood of 5 woodies  on the pond.

_75B3336-as-Web.jpg

Woodie-Ducklings.jpg

The younger they are the cuter they are! 

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I'm not sure if I have a second nesting or just a late nesting, but I have a hit on the box I have tagged "the high box". Hooded merganser that started using the box last Monday. The mergansers seem a little less shy than the Woodducks in that she will still fly up to and enter the box even if we are sitting in the deck 20ft away. As long as we sit still when she lands on the lake to scope things out she will fly up and in. If we are moving around or being loud she will leave and come back 15-20min later and try again. 

Guess that's what I get for declaring that I had zero use in my tree boxes. 

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