I had a hope of a little sliver of sun light this morning, so I hit the park nice and early to take advantage of it, if and when it came.
When I got to the pond, I was pleasantly surprised to find a blue heron and a quartet of mallards, but no sun yet.
There are still a few wood ducks around, but far fewer than earlier this week.
As I circled around to the north end of the pond, the sun made an effort to come out, which provided a nice background for the blue heron.
I didn’t see anything else interesting, so I went to check on the river. On my way, this white-throated sparrow posed as if in a painting. All that was missing was a little sunlight.
When I did reach the river, this little wren finally got the royal treatment from Old Man Sol.
The trick, however, is I can’t tell what kind of wren it is. Northern house wrens are greyer and have much less of a light stripe through the eye. The browner house wrens don’t come this far north and don’t have a light eye stripe either. Winter wrens are brown and do have the eye stripe, but also have short tails and barring on the belly, which our mystery wren does not. Carolina wrens are reddish-brown and do have a bright white eye stripe, but also have a long, “decurved” bill. Does anyone out there know their wrens?
Update: Thanks to Greg O., math professor and self-described “bird nerd”, who pointed me towards the marsh wren (Cistothorus palustris), which we’ve seen before, but only at Kohler-Andae State Park.
A short ways north along the river, there’s a little sandy beach that fishermen like to use, so I stopped to see if they had left anything behind for me. While giving the shore a quick scan, I was lucky enough to spot this critter on the far side and a bit upstream.
I couldn’t tell right away who it was, but it soon showed me a bit more profile, which looks a lot like the beaver we’ve seen in that area.
Best of all, it soon clambered up the tiny waterfall where the stream from the so-called “blue hole” drains into the river. Ta Da! That’s our beaver, all right.
There was nothing new to see at the north end, the sun disappeared, and the crew reconstructing the “Westabrook-MATC Trail” on the west side was running some compacting equipment that made quite a racket, so I quickly headed back south.
Happily, there was one more friendly face to greet me before I headed home. This cute little yellow-rumped warbler.
The forecast for tomorrow morning is 45° and nothing but sun! Woo hoo! I’m happy to accept the former to get the latter.