Crescent View Chronicles--March 18, 2008
For the first time in a while, nighttime temperatures failed to dip below freezing. We awakened to fog, overcast skies, and light mist. Crescent Lake remains mostly frozen, save for a narrow fringe of open water around the perimeter. A somewhat more extensive area of open water exists at the extreme southern (presumably shallower) end of the lake.
There, I witnessed the first major waterfowl flight (more like grounding?) of the year on Crescent Lake, or at least the first that I have witnessed). In addition to the birds that have been present off and on throughout the winter--Mute Swans (2 counted today), resident Canada Geese (28 counted today, including four pairs staking out prospective nesting territories), and Mallards (a pair noted today)--there was a nice mixed-flock of Lesser Scaup and Ring-necked Ducks (10 scaup and 17 ring-necks) and a lone American Coot, all first-of-the-year sightings for the lake. I also heard a Belted Kingfisher chattering. Other waterbirds noted on the lake this month include Great Blue Heron (on the 16th) and Killdeer (on the 13th).
Addendum: A second hike to the south end of Cresent Lake at about 5 pm produced two additional species: a pair of Wood Ducks and a male Hooded Merganser, both first-of-the-year sightings for the lake.
I also neglected to mention the daily presence of Ring-billed Gulls over the lake enroute to and from a nearby sanaitary landfill. This evening, an unending string of gulls flew over the lake in a northerly direction between 5:15 and 5:30 pm.