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June 28, 2020 - 6:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in ducks, animals, Oakfield, news.


Volunteers from the Oakfield Fire Department along with Animal Control Officer Ann Marie Brade and Deputy Kevin McCarthy -- working his second duck rescue detail in as many days -- managed to save a badling of ducks from the stormwater system this morning.

Photos submitted by Staci Finn.









September 27, 2012 - 9:45am

It could be they were staging for an autumn migration, but whatever the reason, upwards of three dozen great egrets had gathered in one area of the Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area last Friday.

The egrets took a liking to this narrow strip of water, all but hidden by a large expanse of cattails. At a distance, the egrets are barely discernable, appearing as tiny white dots on the water in the middle of the photo.  

Evidently the location teemed with one or both of the egret's favorite food sources - small fish and frogs.

Judging from the movement of the large wading birds...

it would seem there was an ample supply of food in all directions.

Not far away, east of Route 77, dabbling ducks were having a feast of their own in Mohawk Pool on the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. Mallards, pintails, green- and blue-winged teal, and widgeon were on hand for an aquatic feed.

The food supply must have been both tasty and plentiful because the ducks seemed more intent on eating than breathing - no matter where you looked, the ducks' heads were submerged..........that little fella on the right was one of the few exceptions (maybe he was full). 

It was a good morning, the next to last day of summer and capped off with this egret on the fly. 

September 16, 2012 - 11:09am

I didn't have to go far to get a photo of this dragonfly, called a twelve-spot skimmer. Apparently it was temporarily grounded by an early morning chill. It flew off when I attempted to scoop it up in my hand.

A white-tailed dragonfly clings to a wild grape vine.

A pearl crescent butterfly spreads its wings.

This marshy stream flows through one our preferred outdoor haunts.

This is our chocolate lab, Tate...

Obviously, this is one of his favorite places to cavort!

A raft of waterfowl, many of them black ducks, take a midday break.

A narrow portion of the stream where it passes through heavy brush.

With a nut clenched firmly in its jaws, this gray squirrel was scurrying on a fallen log when it stopped to relieve an itch.

November 25, 2009 - 8:40pm
posted by JIM NIGRO in ducks, outdoors.


duck.jpgThe afternoon began with a lengthy canoe ride and troublesome wind gusts - and the wind was at our back. The return trip promised to be a real hoot.

We were in a wetland measuring nearly a square mile, a cattail jungle dotted with potholes – all of which held and incredible number of ducks. We took no guns along, no cumbersome bags of decoys and no retriever. With the opening day of ducks season two days away, we were scouting, searching for the ideal location - a thick stand of cattails to conceal the canoe from incoming waterfowl.  

On this day the tops of the cattails were bent over by the stiff wind and yet myriad waterfowl were having little difficulty negotiating the elements. Ducks were vacating the potholes in great numbers. By the time we left they had easily number into the thousands. While countless numbers took wing, many came zeroing in to our location. Once realizing their mistake, they applied the brakes, at the same time quickly scrambling to gain altitude. 

Having a prior commitment, I knew I wouldn’t be back on opening day. Not that it mattered. Two   hours spent amid the marshy environs had been reminiscent of a waterfowler’s bygone era. An that was fine by me.

It’s been an enjoyable autumn on many fronts and there is much to give thanks for. There were a handful of goose hunts, at least one memorable bowhunt, a few scenic canoe rides, and the chance to wet a line on two occasions. And I managed to take in at least one high school football game each weekend. But the scene that readily comes to mind is that of a gray October afternoon when an overcast sky turned the surface of the potholes black, the tops of the cattails bending in the wind and countless ducks on the wing. I felt like we had paddled back in time, right onto the cover of a 1950’s Outdoor Life magazine.  Happy Thanksgiving!

June 13, 2008 - 12:45pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in police, ducks.

Three cheers for Lt. Gene Jankowski and the city police force for averting disaster on Main Street this morning. With the help of an unflinching fellow officer, Jankowski halted four lanes of traffic on East Main Street out front of the police station so that a mother duck and her ten ducklings could safely cross.

The feathered family emerged from Austin Park when they were spotted and followed to the curb. Jankowski held off traffic while his colleague — I apologize for failing to get the officer's name — kept the ducks on course. Without pause, the lot of them dropped into the street and waddled across and into the cool waters of the Tonawanda behind the courthouse. There they were reunited with papa mallard (you can see him leading the crew in the photo to the left here).

Jankowski told me after that this happens about twice a year, and if the police don't act fast, the questing ducks would most likely cause chaos on Main Street, if not an outright accident as drivers swerve all over to avoid crushing the little beasts.

"They don't wait," he said. "They make a bee-line across the road."

They most certainly did. And on a day when the temperature has already hit 90 degrees, who could blame them? I had to keep myself from jumping into the creek and getting my feathers wet.

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