The sun came out at dawn, for a change, and so did the denizens of Estabrook Park! Hallelujah! Plus, most of the working stiffs probably had to go back to work, and thank goodness someone is making the economy go, right? So, I finally had a little bit of one-on-one time with some of our favorite cuties.
These first characters, a trio of mallards, have been around all along, of course, but doesn’t everything just look better in that golden morning light reflecting off of that hay in the background?
Here’s a female cardinal snacking on the sumac seeds below the beer garden against a nice blue sky.
Even the chickadees were getting in on that action.
Above the falls, I spotted our bufflehead in-residence between the southern island and the east bank, where the river is pretty narrow, but it was still pretty far upstream for a good picture, and I didn’t have much hope of getting a lot closer without spooking it. Well, I had to go north anyway so I stayed on the trail to give it some space and look who came cruising south just in time to save the day. Yup, more mallards, who were completely fine with me where I was, and our little hero hopped right on that train. I love it when that happens.
After that fun, I did continue to the north end, where there were only more mallards and a bunch of gulls out on the water, but a trio of nuthatches were busy foraging together on shore. They’re darn quick, and having multiple targets often makes things worse instead of better, but I did manage to get this one presentable picture.
On my way back south, I spotted the bufflehead again off the southern tip of the southern island, and I hoped I might get a nice solo portrait when fate intervened again. This time, several geese came steaming down the west side of the island, and this time our little hero found itself on the other end of the train.
You’ll be happy to learn, no doubt, that they were able to avoid a collision.
Things calmed down again for a while until I reached our red-bellied woodpecker still trying to get a jump on the competition and touting his new nesting cavity with the sweet river view, but this time the lighting was so much better.
Finally, it was just cold enough overnight for some ice to form, and here’s a fascinating little formation I found hanging below a log over the water. My best guess is that it started as a small icicle hanging from that old stump of a branch, but interaction with the continually rising a lowering river water has flattened it into this pretty pendant about the size of a quarter.
The forecast suggest that the clear skies will stick around for a bit, and we’re getting a bit of a cold snap, so maybe I’ll have some more ice pictures for you tomorrow. I can dream, right?