Not bad, not bad at all…

It was another stunningly beautiful morning in Estabrook with bright sun, crystal blue skies, and nearly calm air. Sure, it was cold as all heck, but it was a dry cold, so not bad, not bad at all.

Right off the bat, I was greeted by a new bird for the year, a Cooper’s hawk this time, who took off across the river when it spotted me. Sorry, Buddy. The good news, though, is that it parked in the first tree it came across so I could get this picture. Thanks, Buddy!

We haven’t seen one of these since the start of December when a young Cooper’s hawk looked like it made a try for a mallard.

While I was positioning myself at the water’s edge, I also noticed this interesting ice formation, which looks more organic than crystalline.

On the open water, I did see a goldeneye drake and hen and the single hooded merganser hen, but nobody was in the mood for pictures this morning. Instead, at the north edge of the open water, a few mallards were dabbling, and this one really caught the sunlight. And, yes, that is ice on his shoulders, but his front defroster is working just fine.

Behind and slightly above the mallards, our belted kingfisher appeared to have already taken a dip, based on the little balls of ice stuck to her feathers, and was drying out and/or warming up in the sun.

I didn’t see our kestrel this morning, but perhaps 5°F is below her rated temperature range for safe flight operations, even with a good stretch, and she was grounded until today warmed up a bit.

Finally, at the far north end, I found someone at last lined up in front of the blue sky so that the sun was at my back, and it was this black-capped chickadee.

Since I’m a little short on pictures this morning, I can finally show you a couple from Tuesday when I had too many. First is this male northern cardinal getting a start on staking out his territory with song.

And lastly, the male red-bellied woodpecker who had just been hammering away on the trunk in unison with a visiting female.

Well, the forecast for tomorrow is more of the same, if slightly warmer, so I have a hope that we’ll be able to find some more pretty sights to see.

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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