Angie Mindus photo The first crack in the ice on Williams Lake Tuesday evening signals spring is here.

Blue herons congregate on frozen Williams Lake

There’s a growing abundance of water fowl congregating in and around Scout Island and on the ice still present on the Williams Lake

The ice continues to recede slowly off Williams Lake, and as usual more and more water fowl can be seen congregating on the remaining ice or the open waters, whichever they choose.

On Tuesday evening, a group of five great blue herons were standing on the ice about half a kilometre east of Scout Island.

At first glance they are not always recognizable because hunched over they look like a different creature.

“There are so many birds coming back now it’s just a fascinating place to be,” said Williams Lake Field Naturalists president Fred McMechan.

The marsh itself has some of its ice gone, but other areas are open, he added.

“In an open patch of water there was a tremendous amount of water fowl there,” said McMechan, noting he wouldn’t even want to guess how many species are staging in the area waiting for areas further north to open up so they can continue their flights to the nesting grounds.

“It is such a great time of year. Nature is contributing immensely.”

In the last 30 years, ice has remained on the lake until well into April in other years including 1993 and 2002 when it was April 22 before the lake was ice free, and in 1992, it was gone by March 23.

 

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