It’s now clear that a duck has claimed the East nest box. There are five eggs as of today as she is in the nest for a half hour or so adding another on most mornings lately. If all goes well she will start incubating in a week or so and there will be yet another batch of ducklings about 5 weeks from now. So both nests will be used twice this year. That has happened before, but it doesn’t happen every year.
Also … a Hooded Merganser hen visited Friday morning! She didn’t leave an egg, but she rummaged around in the wood shavings like they do when sizing up a nest. We haven’t seen one for weeks, but the camera recorded her.
Thursday morning: a new egg was visible for a moment when the wood duck moved to begin covering up.