This spring, for the first time, I had a Cape May Warbler show up on the farm. It was around for several days before continuing its migration. It really liked to spend time at the grape jelly feeder that I had setup for the Baltimore Orioles.
It’s been an unusual spring for photography at Hoffman Hills. Over a foot of snow the first week in May slowed things down. This past week we have had rain every day. In between I was able to get out and take a few photographs.
The Canada Geese were finally able to start nesting on the first pond. One of the signs of spring is the return of the Canada Geese to nest at Hoffman Hills. The late start makes me think the second week of June the hatch will occur.
Hoffman Hills is generally where I photograph Pussy Willows. This year between the snow storms and the sudden onslaught of warm weather the Pussy Willows were here and gone before I had much of a chance to photograph them.
The Tree Swallows and the Eastern Bluebirds are fighting over housing out in the prairie area. This year the tree swallows seemed to have the upper hand although this bluebird was defending its chosen house.
There was still a bit of ice in the shipping canal. The week before so much ice had blown in from out in the lake that nine ships were anchored outside the harbor entrance waiting to get in. The ice breaker had to be called to open up the shipping canal.
We happened to be in Canal Park when the Mesabi Miner came into port and left port. The ship’s captain gave out a call to those watching to enjoy the beautiful day. It was a rare April day in Duluth. The same crew member was on the bow waving to the crowd on both days.
There had been a full moon a couple of days before. The moon was just setting over the Duluth Lift Bridge in the early morning.
There was a ship anchored outside the harbor. At sunrise the pilot boat headed out to the ship. I was able to get a photo of it a little later in the morning when it returned to the harbor.
This was taken the end of April. Duluth had received more snow in April than in any month in history. There was one blizzard after another. This was one of the first nice days in all of April. I doubt too many folks in Florida would be on the beach with snow still around.
Fishing season was open. The North Breakwater was closed but the South Breakwater was open so the fisherman could get out for the opening of the season. No one was having any luck and shortly after the photo was taken most of them gave up.
Last week I woke up to a loud racket in my front yard. I tried to sleep through it but finally decided to see what was going on. It turned out to be about a dozen Wild Turkeys with the males courting the females. I headed down stairs to get the camera only to remember that the camera was in the car. By the time I looked out again the turkeys were headed for the woods.
The next day I noticed them out in the back yard. Again there were about a dozen of them with most of them appearing to be males. This time they didn’t see me so I was able to get some photos. The males were courting the females again but the females didn’t seem to be paying much attention. They all walked past the males and headed into the woods.
Wild Turkeys have been a great success story in Wisconsin. They were reintroduced about thirty years ago and quickly multiplied. I’ve had over fifty of them in my yard at one time. That was before they started hunting them. These days I usually see about a dozen of them at a time.
With the return of the spring birds I’ve been taking more bird photographs during the past several weeks. Birds don’t always pose for a photo and I managed to capture a few shots of birds just as they took off.
A few weeks ago we had an ice storm. Since I couldn’t do much outside I spent the morning watching the birds at my feeding station. They were having a hard time hanging on to the branches because of the ice and the strong winds. I was trying to figure out how the Northern Cardinal could fly with so much ice on its tail feathers but it didn’t seem to have a problem.
There have been a large number of Yellow-rumped Warblers around this spring and they have been around for almost three weeks. Most of them have been along the Red Cedar State Trail and the Red Cedar River. There was quite a bit of snow still on the ground when they arrived. I’ve also seen a few of them around the farm which is very unusual. I suspect they are around in large numbers because of the heavy snowfall to the north and they ended up stopping in this area until the snow stopped falling to the north.