I had the deep pleasure of walking home from campus late yesterday afternoon, along the river from Hubbard Park to Estabrook Park, after the clouds cleared out, the breeze calmed down, and the sun lit everything with a gorgeous setting glow. It was an absolute pleasure, but I wish I had brought my camera, as there was a good-sized group of mallards and mergansers settling in for the evening south of the Capitol Ave bridge with a couple of gulls silently gliding overhead looking for pre-caught fish, we can now suppose.
Well, my wish belatedly came true, because the perfect weather continued into this morning, so I got to enjoy it again with camera in hand. The first exciting news, that I know you are all anxiously waiting to hear, is that the pair of common goldeneyes, whom we first spotted together just yesterday, were still together this morning on the lower river. Yay!
Above the falls, the big crowd of mallards were back, along with the pair of buffleheads, one male goldeneye, and this newcomer, who appears to be an immature male goldeneye. You can see the start of his cheek patch, but the rest of his coloration still resembles is mom more than his dad. You can read other authors who have come to the same conclusion here, here, and here.
Also, along the river, were this red-breasted woodpecker warming in the morning sun, and this chickadee trying to get a taste of a sapcicle.
Finally, up on the bluff, this grey squirrel, the ubiquitous, bigger, and bolder cousin of our little cutie from yesterday, appeared and sounded to be in growling standoff with three others in the same tree.
Perhaps they were all waiting to warm up in the sun enough to begin chasing each other up, down, and around tree trunks.