A happy swan song…

Despite the wet forecast, I lucked out and stayed dry today. It was a good morning for seeing birds, if tough for photographing them, but I took some anyway.

At the north end, the crowd of buffleheads have moved on and left only one pair behind. Similarly, the flock of common mergansers have flown north and left just one hen behind. There were still 3 pairs of hooded mergansers and about the same goldeneyes, but the interesting sight for me was this little quartet of misfits. I see a solo hooded merganser hen, two goldeneye hens, and one young goldeneye drake who doesn’t yet have his mating plumage. They look about as thrilled as the wedding guests at table 19.

Another great sight that I failed to capture this time was a belted kingfisher finally back on the Milwaukee River.

A bald eagle came by again, stared at the floating duck buffet for a while, and then flew back upriver. It’s beak appears to have different markings from the one we saw earlier this week.

As I hiked from the river to the pond, I glanced up in time to catch this amazing spectacle of nearly three dozen swans flying north in a big v-formation. That’s certainly a first for me.

Finally, at the pond, the pair of Canada geese were there but not yet nesting, a pair of mallards was dabbling, and this pair of mallards was snoozing on a log. I don’t believe I’ve ever caught both with their eyes closed at the same time before.

I bumped into Charlotte, a professional wildlife biologist, by the pond, and she helped me spot a winter wren along the river, but it eluded both our cameras. At the south end, just as we were heading our separate ways, she heard another, even bigger, flock of swans with four to five dozen birds, I’d guess. I didn’t bother with my camera that time and just enjoyed the show.

I see the forecast for tomorrow morning is just as wet as today’s was, so here’s hoping I get just as lucky.

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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