It was two years ago, to the day, that I wrote those first four words and kicked off this whole adventure with an email message to some friends and my family. Two years later, it was cold, cloudy, and windy, with snow showers forecast, so I went into Estabrook with pretty low expectations, despite the momentous occasion. Well, I shouldn’t have worried, and perhaps the critters knew what day it was, because they really put on a show for us.
I followed it for quite a ways up the edge of the river, but could never quite get in front of it, so this is the best portrait I could manage.
I saw two different eastern phoebes, this time, and here’s one of them.
At the north end, things really started to get going with surprise appearances by a red-breasted merganser drake.
And a pair of buffleheads.
By the pond, this hairy woodpecker appeared to add a little roughage to its diet.
And I finally spotted a brown creeper that I hear others have seen for the past week or two.
What sweet symmetry, eh? But that’s not even all, yet. I headed back down to the river, and I’m 99% sure I flushed an American wood cock. It looked comically short and squat with that color scheme and elaborate pattern on its back. Now that I know where and for what to look, I hope I can see one before I spook it away next time.
But wait! There’s even more! And I’ve got the images to prove it this time. We have an American kestrel back again, and this one’s a male. Here he is, across the river with his fresh breakfast.
Things were going so well, I wanted to stay all day, but I’ve got a tour of my bike lab to give this afternoon, so I headed back up the bluff to hurry home only to be stopped in my tracks by this little cutie.
He was so bold, I had to switch my lens into “close” mode, and I’m glad I did because here he is triumphantly showing me his catch.
Lastly, as the nuthatch hopped farther up the tree, and since my lens was already in “close” mode, I couldn’t help but take this picture, too.
That’s about as nice an anniversary celebration as I could have hoped for, right? Thanks, guys!