Big Bend National Park and Terlingua in West Texas were amazing, and we saw a lot of wild life, but it is also always great to be back home and get a chance to visit Estabrook Park. I ship out back to South Holland tomorrow, so this might be my last post for a while.
Despite the freeze overnight, as anyone who ventured out on the Oak Leaf Trail this morning knows about, today got off to a gorgeous start in Estabrook with mild temps, almost no breeze, and plenty of sunshine. The first critter I saw taking full advantage of the situation was this musk rat just off the shore of the southern island, where we saw a beaver up on the ice back in December.
At the north end, I spotted a couple pairs of common mergansers, a single goldeneye drake, about a dozen geese, and a few dozen mallards. The surprise visitor, however, was this Cooper’s hawk right overhead.
Out on the water and ice, a lone herring gull found itself a good-sized fish, perhaps already frozen
Finally, I took one last swing by the river and arrived just in time to catch this beaver giving us a swim-by.
That’s it for Estabrook today, so let me leave you with one more picture from Big Bend, a pyrrhuloxia perched in the bushes by Sam Nail’s old ranch, perhaps waiting for us to clear out so it can get a sip of water in peace. Welp, we’re gone now, so there you go, little buddy.