The sudden cold snap brought the birds out like crazy this morning, and I believe I saw more blue herons in the park today than I have ever seen before.
There was a youngish-looking one having some success on the pond.
Another youngish-looking one seeming to take a break on the river below the falls.
Yet another youngish-looking one fishing intently above the falls.
A fourth, in full adult regalia, grabbing a little morsel between the islands.
Yet a fifth one, appearing to be a youngster again, just off the northern island and not having much luck, but it did give a nice demo of how to navigate water that gets too deep.
I hadn’t seen the ducklings on my first pass of the pond, so I stopped in again on my way back south, and Mrs. Wood Duck’s special friend is back and sharing a tender moment. These two are starting to make me feel like paparazzi.
Meanwhile, the black duck and mallard hens are still hanging out.
Ah, and here comes Mrs. Wood Duck with four of her ducklings.
While the fifth stayed behind with who appears to be yet another mallard hen.
So that’s 10 ducks of 3 species and 1 merganser on the water at once. Holy Moly.
Then the excitement really began.
Yup, a Cooper’s hawk, whom we also haven’t seen for nearly a month, flew in looking for brunch.
The ducks quickly circled their wagons, as we saw before with the owl on the river.
And with my eye off it for a second, I lost track of the hawk, but I don’t believe it had any luck on the pond this morning, and I’m gonna call that enough excitement for one day.