Happy Spring!

Wow! What a morning! I couldn’t ask for a better first day of spring. I counted 34 different species of bird, with some help from my friends, and a few were even willing to sit for a picture. The first one was this little American tree sparrow on a frosty log beside the river. I was surprised to find one still here, considering how far they have to go.

North of the falls, I caught up with Lisa, who performed her usual magic and spotted a great horned owl hiding in a tangle of branches and vines on the southern island. This is the best picture I could manage, but you can see its shape, the pattern on its feathers, and even its horns.

Between the islands, we spotted a couple pair of common mergansers, a couple pair of goldeneyes, one red-breasted merganser drake, a couple of killdeer, and a few hooded mergansers, including this handsome drake.

There was even one pair of buffleheads who haven’t flown north yet, and here they are. He’s got his eye on me, while she checks for eagles, but we saw no eagles today.

We did see the first beaver in a while, and farther north than I’ve ever seen them.

Back up on the bluff, as I headed for the pond, and Lisa headed for her car, she spotted a great blue heron flying north over the parkway. Amazing!

At the pond, the red-winged blackbird males were hard at work staking out their territory, before the females arrive, but I didn’t see any actually fighting today. Instead, I did see this grackle striking a pose.

As I was checking for sparrows at the edge of the lawn, I heard the familiar call of a kingfisher and was thrilled to see her park herself in a tree over the island.

Here she is again on a different branch and facing our way so we can see her beautiful orange belt.

Finally, on my way home, I stopped by the mushrooms again to take advantage of the better light this morning.

I sure hope your spring is off to as great a start as mine is!

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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