It was a spectacular morning in Estabrook and the only critters we seem to be waiting on now are the cicadas. No, not the brood X that that fancy folks get, and everyone’s talking about. Just our humble, yearly, summer singers.
Meanwhile, most of the other regulars were out this morning, though this first one we seldom get to see. It looks like Mrs. Raccoon hasn’t yet stumbled home from her Friday night revelry, but I guess that’s not a charitable characterization of the situation. Instead, they’re simply nocturnal critters, and shame on use for leaving such a mess for her to get into. That faint “x” marking in the foreground is the maintenance yard chain-link fence.
Just a bit north of there, this catbird posed so sweetly, I just couldn’t resist. Who could?
The wood duck hen and her ducklings are still at the pond, where she was taking a break on shore, and her brood were foraging hither and yon. We only got to see one wood duck duckling last year, and only for a couple of days, so I am fascinated by how differently they behave from mallard ducklings, who pretty much stick together and stick with Mom.
Eventually someone walked by, and Mom finally opted to get her feet wet.
Also on the pond this morning was this young grackle, who had been pleading to an adult on that same branch for something to eat, and was left to fend for itself by the time I managed to snap a picture.
At the river, the snow along the path is getting pretty deep.
That’s not snow, of course, but cottonwood tree seeds, and it didn’t seem to bother this common snapping turtle, who looked to be about the same size as the one we saw not even a week ago. I’m not getting any closer to confirm, so we’ll just have to suppose.
Above the falls, I came across a sight we haven’t seen before. Here’s a serene-looking whitetail doe lounging on the bank of the southern island in the beautiful morning light and contentedly chewing her cud.
When I finally reached the north end, just about everyone was there. A great blue heron was fishing silently in the middle of the river.
These killdeer were having a boisterous discussion, and they seem to have only one setting: 11.
Even a belted kingfisher, whom we haven’t seen nor heard in weeks, was out fishing.
There were young mallard ducklings.
And nearly full-grown mallard ducklings. It’s even hard to tell which one is Mom, but my money is on the one front and center holder her head up high and keeping her eye on me.
There are still plenty of goslings about, and here are the four accompanied by only one adult that I believe we’ve seen several times before.
Lastly, at the far south end, in the weeds growing on the west side of the soccer fields, I found another eastern black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes asterius) soaking up the morning sun and a bit less shy than the one we saw back in May.
I hope you get to enjoy the recent break in the weather while it lasts.