If you asked me to design the perfect mid-March morning, I don’t know what changes I would make to today’s specifications. It was cold enough overnight to firm up the trail, but in the mid-30s already when the sun came up, so I hardly needed gloves. Plus, the air was nearly still, and the sun even shown for a bit before the clouds rolled in.
I was thrilled to see almost all of the usual crowd on the water above the falls. Even a greater scaup drake was back.
The goldeneyes seemed to have paired off, but this hen looks less than impressed with her drake today.
A few common mergansers are still around and here’s a drake looking anything but common.
The hooded mergansers still appear to be sorting things out.
The buffleheads haven’t taken off yet, either.
The cherry on top was the return of this mature bald eagle. The gulls and geese alerted me to its flyover as I was photographing the buffleheads, and I caught a glimpse of it through the trees and figured that was all I was going to get. When I finally continued north, however, I couldn’t believe my luck to spot it perched in a tree over the northern island.
Usually, as soon as one of these spots me coming up the trail, off they go, but this one seemed mesmerized by all the geese, ducks, and mergansers on the water below, like a kid reading the dollar menu at McDonalds.
Anyway, it eventually did take off and with a nice long branch in tow, so I headed over to the pond where I found this happy scene. A pair of geese were back on the ice, after taking a break for about a week, and they brought a pair of mallards with them this time.
Things are really picking up in Estabrook now.