The wind is still whippin’

We have been “enjoying” a wind out of the south, as advertised, and it does appear that some birds have hitched a ride on it, so we do have some new arrivals, but let’s start with the goslings.

At first, I didn’t see all six goslings at the pond this morning, and my heart sank, but I was soon relieved to find that I simply wasn’t looking hard enough. Once they came out into the open, all original six appeared to be hale, hearty, and hungry, and here are the five willing to squish together for a picture.

Meanwhile, across the river I spotted what appears to be a blended family, which we’ve seen before, with at least 12 goslings that I could count, and some are obviously smaller than others. Just look at those two right in the middle. The one on the left is nearly half the size as the one on the right.

Oh, and while I was at the river, I was thrilled to find our great horned owl awake and not quite as tucked away as usual. Yay!

Okay, on to the new arrivals, and first up is this great crested flycatcher with its creamy yellow belly, whitish neck, and brown head. There were two of them, and they’ve just arrived from the southern half of the Gulf of Mexico or even farther south.

Next, at the south end, I had a nice extended photo shoot with this beauty, a blue-headed vireo, who didn’t have to travel quite as far as the flycatchers.

As if that wasn’t enough, wait till you get a load of this guy! He’s our first male scarlet tanager for the season, and he’s come the farthest of the three, all the way from western South America. I read that “twice a year, [they] fly across the Gulf of Mexico,” and “usually at night!” Yikes!

Best of all, at least for me, I’ve saved the most amazing for last. We’ve seen all three of the birds above at least once before in Estabrook, but I’ve been searching for this next bird since I first learned two years ago that red-bellied woodpeckers are not these, despite their obvious, bright-red heads. At long last, here is the first red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) that I’ve ever seen in Estabrook Park and maybe even anywhere.

Ta da! It was across the river and quite shy, so I consider myself lucky just to get these meager pictures.

Not a bad way to start a Monday morning, eh?

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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