Our hooded merganser ducklings emerged from their nest box today. We had a total of 19 ducklings with 3 eggs remaining. This suggests to us that there were 2 clutches of eggs. Normally these ducks only lay around 13 eggs but it is common to find 20-30 eggs in a nest box or tree cavity.
Here is a short slo-mo video I shot yesterday using an iPhone 6 Plus and a ShoulderPod. Very difficult to track and keep in focus but interesting nontheless. Not the most elegant in flight but they get the job done. The shrub he is exploring is a caragana which has interesting flowers in the spring followed by exploding seed pods in the summer.
I spotted a raven this morning walking around some buildings at work. He seemed to be quite bold, almost like a pigeon in his proximity to humans. He also squawked like he was trying to talk. I knew there was a nest in one of the buildings, so I assumed it was one of the parents or a juvenile. However, when I passed him an hour and a half later, I noticed one of his wings had a feather out of place. Upon closer examination, I could see blood on his left wing. Time for action.
I was working on the getting the pool ready and found this bug floating on the surface. It is a water scorpion and they seems to be fairly common in eastern Ontario. I have probably seen half dozen of them around the place over the years. However, I have rarely seen them alive. This is the first time I have seen them in our pool and in this case it was probably the chlorine that killed him.
We prefer to compost our food waste vs. filling our green bin and having the city remove it on a weekly basis. The is especially true in the summer when maggots and the like make the green bins challenging. So, we place our food scraps in a black compost bin and layer with soil and yard waste.