The little bit of sun I was promised in the forecast never materialized, and the breeze was up, so it was not a perfect morning for pictures, but Kyle, who I met when he was participating in the Christmas bird count last month, came along to keep me company.
We saw the pair of goldeneye drakes almost as soon as we got started at the south end. We didn’t see the hen today, but the way these two drakes were chasing each other around makes me think that they expect that she’ll be back..
Just past the goldeneyes, we were treated to the spectacle of a mature bald eagle, first perched in a tree up ahead, and then soaring over the river, but neither of us could get a shot through the bare trees.
Our belted kingfisher was hard at work again at the top of the rapids.
Above the falls, this little chickadee had found something to peck at.
As we approached the north end, this mourning dove did not want to relinquish its perch on the side of this old cottonwood trunk. At the base of the same tree, I spotted a winter wren but couldn’t get a picture. Perhaps Kyle did.
We continued past the meadow to see if there was anyone new on the sliver of open water south of the Port Washington Road bridge, but we only saw some mallards and one goose. I got excited for a second when I spotted a great horned owl on top of the Holliday Inn across the river, but upon closer inspection, I believe it is merely a plastic dummy intended to keep the gulls from nesting there. Darn.
When we finally turned around, we spotted a kestrel gliding over the frozen river around the northern island, but we couldn’t find where it landed.
The rest of our walk back south was uneventful, and back at the south end we finally got the chance to capture a raptor on film when this red-tailed hawk perched in a tree across the river.
I didn’t get a lot of pictures today, so here’s one last shot of our kestrel with her fresh mouse from Saturday.
Tomorrow is supposed to be cloudy again, but with less of a breeze, so here’s hoping more critters will be out and about.