I didn’t get to Estabrook until nearly noon today, and I was happy to find that there were still plenty of critters up and about, but I didn’t get a picture until this handsome devil, a red-breasted merganser drake, came floating by at the southern island.
When I approached the northern island, however, things really started to warm up. Besides the geese, mallards, and wood ducks, there was still one pair of buffleheads from the big crowd yesterday, and four more red-breasted mergansers. With three drakes and just two hens, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when the drakes started putting on a show. Sadly, the hen seems to be nowhere near as impressed as I was.
Back on shore, I spotted another northern flicker, and his black mustache means he’s a he.
As I was trying to line up a shot, he started singing, so I switched to video so you can see and hear who makes the woods of Estabrook sound like a jungle this time of year.
Meanwhile, back at eye level, I was thrilled to discover that today must have been portrait day because all the little birds started posing, and first up is this little dark-eyed junco.
By the pond, a female cardinal, who has been starting to make herself scarce, was next.
Then this fox sparrow.
Followed by a much-smaller American tree sparrow.
And lastly, this slightly-ruffled looking white-throated sparrow must have gotten word late and came as fast as it could.
As if that string of little posers wasn’t crazy enough, the mammals also got in on the act, starting with this shy eastern cottontail.
This gray squirrel peeking out from its hidey-hole.
And even a chipmunk. It was just incredible.
The forecast for tomorrow morning is for showers and then partly cloudy skies, so we’ll see soon enough if I was supposed to have saved some of these pictures for then. Wish me luck!