The ice is out, and even though there is the occasional snow, it is time for ducks to migrate through.  Some spend a couple of weeks, some just a few days.  Either way, they are finding things to eat when they dive, search, and swim after their food.

The largest group is ring-necked ducks, some of which come close enough to get photographed.  There are far more males than females, which is interesting or puzzling, depending on your perspective.  The males might be competing for attention and access, but they nearly always do so sedately, swimming in groups that part and reassemble, go from one edge of the pond to another, picking up the occasional stray individual.  They don’t do much diving, which suggests that courtship is the chief activity while they are on the pond.

There are other species of ducks, too far away for a good photo, but they appear to be buffleheads and common mergansers.  The buffleheads dive quickly, stay down quite a few seconds, then pop up like corks, their white heads conspicuous from far away.  The mergansers are the largest waterfowl here and their dives are more deliberate.  Even though there aren’t many on the pond, the males, with their distinctive white sides, black heads and orange bills, chase each other fairly often.  It is spring, after all.

These ducks will not stay long.  The call of the north is too strong, or maybe there are too many houses or too few nesting options here.  They will move on and try to produce another generation.  But the pond has been a good place to stop along the way.