A cool morning warms up nicely…

This morning was sort of a mixed bag. The weather was beautiful, but the pictures got off to a slow start. There were even a few mallards at the pond, when I arrived, along with the wood duck hen and ducklings, but nobody was feeling very photogenic, so I let them be. There was also one male belted kingfisher, but they’re very skittish, and this is the best I could do. No raccoons again today.

At the river, I also missed the beaver, but when I reached the falls, our regular was already there, and it looked like it was going to try a good-sized fish someone had left behind.

It found the fish about 6-10 feet inland and walked it over to the water. I don’t know if that was to rinse it off, to wash it down, or it just has a rule that it can “only eat fish it takes out of the water.” In any case, after several false starts, it did eventually get the whole thing down, and I hope that works out. Oh sure, I’ll drink a park beer and enjoy a can of park beans when I can find one, but I draw the line at fish left behind.

Above the falls, I finally found a nice grouping of geese that shows off how far the goslings have come. The big one in the middle and keeping its eye on me is the adult.

As I neared the north end, I came across this pretty little moth that maybe got leaf tops and bottoms mixed up, happily for us, and it appears to be a large lace-border (Scopula limboundata).

At the north end, the water is still loaded with geese, mallards, and even a few sand pipers. Plus, there were several cedar waxwings hunting flying insects over the water, and here’s one that paused for a second.

Right below the waxwings, a young blue heron was trying to do the same with fish but wasn’t having much luck.

Keep practicing, buddy! You’ll get the hang of it.

Meanwhile, on shore, this finch seemed to be having a much easier time with the mulberries.

Back on the water, these mallard ducklings looked tuckered out from foraging and beyond ready for their nap.

On my way back south, I spotted a wood duck hen with her duckling crossing paths with a mallard hen with hers.

At the falls, the mature blue heron was still fishing, but Lisa said it hadn’t caught anything in 10 minutes, so I took this and kept moving.

Below the falls, the raspberries along the path are becoming ripe.

At the soccer fields, this wren kept popping in and out of this nesting hole in between verses of its song.

A blue jay stopped by.

Another goldfinch, a female this time, was feasting on a bull thistle blossom.

Lastly, as I was about to call it a morning, this beautiful black swallowtail stopped by to warmup in the sun, and I would say he’s a male, based on how “large and bright” his yellow spots are.

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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