No April Fools.

The forecast sun never materialized, so it was a pretty gray morning, but not too cold, and the critters are stuck here anyway. It’s not like the birds are gonna say, “To heck with these gray skies, I’m flying back to the Gulf of Mexico.”

Here’s one such bird on the quiet water below the falls and above the mild rapids. He’s a hooded merganser, and by the looks of his dark bill and yellowish eye, an immature male whose breeding plumage has not yet come in.

I stopped by the pond to see if anyone was around before things got busy, and there were a pair of wood ducks, a pair of mallards, and the pair of geese, but the light wasn’t great for pictures on the water, so here’s a white-throated sparrow instead.

Back at the river, I spotted another three wood ducks at the north end, but this eastern phoebe posing with maple tree blossoms made a nicer picture.

There was also still a pair of buffleheads, and they happened to be napping in the warm reflection of the red brick chocolate factory across the river.

On my way back south, three crows alerted me to this red-tailed hawk over the disc golf course.

Back at the pond, the trio from the river had flown up to join the pair already there, so now there were five wood ducks, and this quartet arranged themselves nicely for me.

The fifth wheel was a male, so it should come as no surprise that there had to be some jockeying for position, and here’s two of the males going at it as a hen looks on.

I was surprised not to see a flicker today, but I have a nice left-over picture of a male on some sumac by the pond from yesterday to fill in.

Lastly, the red squirrel from yesterday grabbed the biggest nut I’ve ever seen a red squirrel grab and posed like this for a while, as if to make sure I captured a good image.

If the bait and switch of clouds for sun is the worst April Fools prank I suffer today, I’ll take that as a win.

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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