12 July 2013

Wood Duck Extravaganza at Carter Lake

It was a summer morning when the temperature was not oppressive, the humidity was slight and an intention boiled over when the extravaganza of Wood Ducks were noted about Carter Lake. As the sun touched the horizon, a departure was made from the hills of old Dundee, with an easterly direction accomplished a bicycle pedal at a time, with some appreciated coasting places.

The survey of the morning started at the southeast portion of the lake about Bird Isle, and continued along the way around the lake and its aquatic places.

The results were stupendous, with the largest count of Wood Ducks for this habitat ever recorded within the past decade.

A count of 111 Wood Ducks is nearly twenty more than any recent, previous count. The tally was obviously a result of the many birds being raised this season. At the lake, there are different groups of these ducks, some small and special, with others older and nearly ready to survive on their own. Each of them were a result of the successful breeding in the tree cavities associated with the lakes' habitat.

It was exciting to watch some small ducklings scitter across the water-lily pads on the eastern side of the lake. Mother duck swan along, while her young knew what to look for among the habitat. Other observations along the way, provided these additional perspectives:

  • a female and five small ducklings;
  • two females accompanying 11 young;
  • a female attentive to 11 ducklings
  • two females with nine young;
  • a female with six young;
  • a female with 11 ducklings; and,
  • a female with four ducklings.

The overall count from the morning survey surpassed a previous high count from mid-June 2012. Various recent counts during July were significant at the time, but with many fewer Wood Ducks observed.

There was only one intrusive motor-boat on the lake, with was really insignificant. Most of the family bunches were in the eastern third of the lake, or near to the shore, with only one family group in the western section of the lake, where boat traffic occurs to a greater extent.

There were also a bunch of young Mallard ducks, with at least four family groups seen.

It was a good year for the colorful and expressive ducks of Carter Lake, and the offspring raised upon its adjacent park lands.

Other notables during the morning visit were the loitering group of snow geese and the gathering of Purple Martins about their apartment complex.

Purple Martins at their west residences.

Group of snow geese at Horseshoe Pool, Levi Carter Park.

In the background of this picture, there is also a Great Blue Heron.