It was cold this morning, in the low 20s, but the forecast wind didn’t materialize, so not too bad at all. Plus, lake-effect snow was lazily sifting down to make it feel like being in a snow globe. Best of all, long-time readers Donna and Kate came along to help me see what there was to see.
As soon as we hiked down the stairs from the beer garden to the falls, we were greeted by a mature bald eagle following the river south at about treetop level. It spotted us right away, with its eagle eyes of course, and drifted over the west shore as it passed to keep us at a safe distance.
From there, we hiked up to the north end and back without seeing anything I could take a picture of, and that trend continued until I reached the grassy area where I’ve been seeing the kestrel lately. I couldn’t find her anywhere, at first, so I gingerly stepped down the west edge until I almost had reached the far end, and that’s where she was waiting with another fresh catch.
From there, I guided Donna and Kate up to the pedestrian underpass to show them the trilobite fossil. They continued south atop the bluff, and I returned to the water’s edge, where I found this goldeneye hen in short order.
As I approached the south end, I met Donna and Kate coming back north already, and they reported just having seen common mergansers and hearing the kingfisher, but before I got there, I spotted the hooded merganser hen instead.
I didn’t see the common mergansers, and I did see the kingfisher, but I couldn’t get her picture today. Instead, as I crossed the soccer fields on my way home, I was greeted by a flock of geese taking a break on the grass.
Finally, we did see a red squirrel north of the falls, but it wasn’t in the mood for pictures today, so here’s one last shot of the cutie from a few days ago who just couldn’t seem to get enough of the camera.