From my kayak 7/4-9

We visited our usual haunts this week: the Connecticut River out of Wilder, the Ompompanoosuc River and the North Hartland Lake. The wildlife did not disappoint.

The kingbirds on the Connecticut are sitting on their nests again.

Kingbird with nest. Lebanon, NH 7/5/20

The young mallards are nearly full grown and seem to enjoy snails for lunch.

Nearly grown mallards. Lebanon, NH 7/5/20
Snails for lunch. Mallards. Wilder, VT 7/7/20

We saw a couple of mammals on the Pompy.

Beaver (?). Norwich, VT 7/6/20

We rounded a corner and came across this doe only about 15 feet away.

White tailed deer. Norwich, VT 7/6/20
Butterflies on milkweed. Norwich, VT 7/6/20

North Hartland Lake presented some of its usual suspects. Both adult eagles were near the nest, but we only saw one juvenile.

Eagle parents. North Hartland, VT 7/9/20
Immature eagle with nest. North Hartland, VT 7/9/20

We also saw a couple of great blue herons.

Great blue heron. North Hartland, VT 7/9/20
Great blue heron. North Hartland, VT 7/9/20

and of course a painted turtle.

Painted turtle North Hartland, VT 7/9/20

North Hartland Lake 7/2/2020

We were the first people at the lake this morning and it makes a difference on what we see. We started by watching a family of killdeer at the beach.

Killdeer. North Hartland Lake, VT 7/2/20

We saw at least 4 groups of deer, mostly at a distance, but one fawn swam across the river near us.

Young deer swimming. North Hartland Lake, VT 7/2/20

A great blue heron flew down the river, the first we’ve seen this year.

Great blue heron. North Hartland Lake, VT 7/2/20

The eagle’s nest was a center of activity. An adult was in a nearby tree, being attacked by a kingbird.

Eagle being attacked by a kingbird. North Hartland Lake, VT 7/2/20

There were two immature eagles on branches near the nest. And a second adult eagle was across the lake.

Immature bald eagle. North Hartland Lake, VT 7/2/20

The wildflowers were different than last week.

Yellow loosestrife. North Hartland Lake, VT 7/2/20

And the painted turtles were out sunning themselves.

Painted turtles on a log. North Hartland Lake, VT 7/2/20

From my kayak 6/25-27

One of our favorite paddling spots, North Hartland Lake, is now open Wednesday-Sunday! The eagles have built a nest, but we didn’t see any evidence of eaglets.

Bald eagle. Hartland, VT 6/25/20

We saw the usual painted turtles and spotted sandpipers and were treated with some deer.

Painted turtle. Hartland, VT 6/25/20
Spotted sandpiper on the boom. North Hartland Dam, Hartland, VT 6/25/20
Deer. Hartland, VT 6/25/20

The next day, on the Connecticut River, we came across a large snapping turtle sunning himself. Over the years, we have seen him a few times before, but always underwater.

Snapping turtle and dragon fly. Lebanon, NH 6/26/20

The kingbirds are trying for a second clutch of eggs in at least two nests.

Kingbird with nest. Hanover, NH 6/26/20

And the damselflies are out and about.

Damselfly on my kayak. Hanover, NH 6/26/20

Today on the Ompompanoosuc, we found the family of geese, now getting their adult feathers.

Canada goose with half grown goslings. Norwich, VT 6/27/20

We also saw a family of common mergansers.

Common merganser family. Norwich, VT 6/27/20

From my kayak 8/27-9/17

We’ve been in our kayaks often in the past few weeks and have see a lot.

Great blue herons have appeared in most the the usual spots, but doing some unusual things.

Great blue heron with pond lilies.–Ompompanoosuc River 8/27/19
Great blue heron displaying. North Hartland Lake 8/31/19

This heron landed near another heron and put on this display.

“What’s that invading my marsh?” Great blue heron –McDaniel’s Marsh 9/7/19
Great blue heron fishing from a perch. Grafton Pond 9/10/19

The heron was fishing from a branch a few feet above the water, dove into the water, missed the fish, struggled back up to the branch and ruffled his feathers to dry off.

Great blue heron drying off from a dip in the lake. Grafton Pond 9/10/19

We also saw an egret and several green herons, eagles, deer, dragonflies and butterflies, and flowers.

Egret. North Hartland Lake 8/31/19
Green heron. –Connecticut River 9/6/19
Green heron scratching — Connecticut River 9/6/19
Young eagle getting his adult feathers. Connecticut River 9/15/19
Cormorant –Connecticut River 8/26/19
Deer — North Hartland Lake 8/31/19
Dragonfly –Connecticut River 9/15/19
Butterfly on asters. Connecticut River 9/15/19
Closed gentian –Connecticut River 9/12/19

From my kayak 6/22-7/11

We have spent several days a week in our kayaks for the past few weeks. We have just seen a few ducks and geese this year, but a wide variety of other wildlife.



Other animals


And a couple of other things not from a kayak.

Milkweed flower. Hartford, VT 7/6/19
Sunset after a storm. Hartford, VT 7/6/19