Mixed doubles…

It was just as beautiful in Estabrook this morning as forecast. Sure, it was only 7°F, but the sky was clear, the sun was out, and the winds were calm. Hurray! Plus, as much as I like to share, it is also nice to get some quality alone time with our feathered and furry friends.

The second treat of the morning was that the goldeneyes are starting to thicken, and I counted at least a dozen individuals on the river this morning. They were diving like crazy to forage on the bottom, and here’s the most I could get together in one picture.

At the falls, there was not a single bird, not even a gull, but the ice pancakes were back.

At the north end, treat number three was this eastern bluebird looking for a sip of water at a hole in the river ice.

I only spotted one, this time, and here it is again after retiring to this maple tree branch.

Things were pretty quiet at the pond, with the house sparrows all off to someplace else, and perhaps that’s why this house finch let me have this close-up.

By the bridge over a little stream that feeds into the north end of the pond, two gray squirrels rapidly scampered out the top of this old tree trunk and took off, but this third one got stuck in a staring contest with me. Unfortunately, for him or her, my camera lens doesn’t blink because I’m using the electronic shutter.

Back on the river, the sun was now shining down into the valley, the goldeneyes were still all there, and I also noticed our bufflehead pair back again. Here’s a nice set of mixed doubles.

Here’s just the hens.

And here’s just the buffleheads.

Finally, back at the south end, here’s an ice formation I haven’t seen before that looks like some kind of ice monster claw reaching out of the water.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for more of the same, except for more wind, but here’s hoping it abates a bit near dawn.

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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