Well, maybe this is what I get for whining about how Thursday’s weather wasn’t as perfect as Wednesday’s and Tuesday’s. With all that cloud cover, it sure took its sweet time getting light this morning, so I waited until after my 9am zoom meeting before venturing into Estabrook Park.
I headed straight to the north end, as that’s where most of the action has been lately, and the mallards tipped me off that a big raptor was probably lurking around somewhere nearby. Sure enough, I found this tall, dark, beauty in a cottonwood tree over the far shore. This seems to be a popular hangout for all the young eagles.
Meanwhile, back on the east side, I wasn’t the only one keeping an eye on the distant eagle. Here’s another young Cooper’s hawk, without all the jewelry, keeping close taps on its big cousin on the far shore.
Then the rain started, so I headed home. By the time I reached the pond, it had let up a bit, so I stopped in to say hi to the geese, mallards, and wood ducks. Here’s a wood duck drake looking his best,…
and here’s a wood duck hen paying him no never mind.
First is a very energetic and slightly blurry fox sparrow from Wednesday, with its “rich reddish brown” back and “black and yellow” bill.
Also a swamp sparrow from Wednesday with its “gray face and collar”, “rusty cap”, and “a dark line through the eye.”
Then a song sparrow from Tuesday, with “course streaks” on its chest, “russet stripes” on its crown, and “broad malar or mustache stripes.”
And finally, a low-light image of an American tree sparrow from Tuesday, with its “rusty cap and eyeline”, “gray face”, “bicolor bill”, and “unstreaked underparts.”
That’s 4 of the 9 total sparrows I’ve ever identified in Estabrook Park, all in just one week!