It was another picture-perfect morning in Estabrook with cool, still air, blue skies, and a nice warm sun. The lower river is pretty quiet, now that most of the ice has cleared out, with just a few geese, a few mallards, and only one goldeneye hen and one common merganser hen this morning.
I did see the heron again, as I made my way north, but the pictures didn’t come out very well, so I’ll spare you.
The action really begins above the falls now, with dozens of geese and mallards, over a dozen goldeneyes, 9 common mergansers, 8 hooded mergansers, 4 buffleheads, a pair of red-bellied mergansers, a couple of herring gulls, and one greater scaup drake.
The red-breasted merganser drake finally acceded to a portrait, and his timing was as impeccable as his outfit.
Here are 10 of the goldeneyes, 8 drakes and 2 hens, still sorting out who’s going to prom with whom.
On my way back south, the great blue heron gave me another chance, and this time we managed to make a nice picture.
That’s about it for this morning, but I did make it to the park again yesterday afternoon, and the conditions were nearly as good.
The red-breasted mergansers were at the south end at the time, and here are the drake and hen napping together with matching hairdos.
Here’s another nice look at one of the hooded merganser drakes at the north end.
Also at the north end, a pair of herring gulls alerted me to a bald eagle coming north over the river, and it headed for the trees on the far shore.
It didn’t stay long, however, and when it took off again, it appears that a red-tailed hawk joined the fray.
Finally, we had yet another new visitor yesterday afternoon, an American coot, whom we haven’t seen since last spring.
Meanwhile, the air is now full of songs by cardinals, robins, chickadees, red-winged blackbirds, red-bellied woodpeckers, white-breasted nuthatches, dark-eyed juncos, goldfinches, and more. It really is quite the spectacle, and I hope you get a chance to see and hear it while it lasts.