Pleasant surprises big and small.

It still looked dark as midnight out at 7am this morning, but the sun did eventually rise and poke through the clouds a bit, so I headed over to Estabrook to see if there was anyone around.

I am happy to report that there sure was! It seemed that all the little birds forced to lay low by the recent wind and rain were making up for lost time this morning.

The first one I saw, along the river, is another mystery bird, whom I suspect was just passing through. It was about the size of a warbler or kinglet and flitting around as they do, but without wing bars or a crown, and with two distinctive black stripes across and over the eye for which I cannot yet find a match. Please let me know if you can.

Here’s another brown creeper giving itself away on some bright green moss.

The goldfinch were thick in the gone-by flowers at the north end, and here’s one in its drab, juvenile plumage.

And here’s an uncharacteristically bold dark-eyed junco beside the beer garden.

On my way north, there were a couple pair of mallards on the pond.

At the river, there were more mallards and some geese between the islands, but I was surprised to find no one north of the islands, and a quick scan revealed the likely cause, a big raptor, probably a red-tailed hawk, in a tree on the far shore. Sadly, it was too far away, and the lighting was no good to capture a presentable image, so you’ll just have to take my word on that one.

I figured I was done for the morning and headed back south only to find a blue heron resting in the sun on the pond. What a pleasant surprise.

The forecast looks nice for tomorrow morning, if about 10° cooler, so here’s hoping I’ll be so lucky again.

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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