Calm before the storm?

Not a lot going on today. Maybe everyone’s just waiting for the coming rain to pass through. Trails could sure use more snow, but that’s not what the hourly forecast is predicting, unfortunately.

The mergansers were back on the river this morning, and this time I counted 5 altogether: 1 male and 1 female common, and 1 male and 2 female red-breasted. Here they all are together:

Here’s a better view of the 2 commons:

Here’s a better view of the male red-breasted in the foreground with the female common in the background:

And here are better views of the red-breasted male and the two red-breasted females.

Long-time reader Lou came to Estabrook looking for American black ducks yesterday, but he had no luck. Instead he reports seeing a goldeneye “upstream of the mallards” so maybe we’ve got that to look forward to.

Also, if you get the print Journal Sentinel, as Anne and I do, you were treated today to a stunning picture by Mike De Sisti on page 3A of a coyote standing on the frozen Milwaukee River near West Brown Deer Road. Here’s a link to the picture in today’s e-edition, and I’ve asked Mr. De Sisti if he’d send in a guest photo that I can share with you directly.

Finally, Donna and Robert wrote to me to assert that my song sparrow pictures from yesterday are really of house finches or purple finches. Here are the pictures again.

Here’s the id info for song sparrows, house finches, and purple finches. In my opinion, color capture and color rendering in photography is imperfect, and so I find features that do not depend upon exact color rendering, such as streaking and the dark spot in the middle of the chest more convincing. What do you think? Decisions, decisions…

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

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