It was in the 30s this morning, but the high 30s, and the clouds were thick, but thinned out as the morning wore on. Best of all, however, was that the winds were dead calm at sunrise, so it was a perfect morning for listening to the birds, and they did not disappoint.
My first pictures, however, are of the water birds on the pond, who didn’t have a lot to say, and there were plenty of them to choose from. Besides the regular pair of Canada geese with a nest on the island, and a slew of mallard bachelors, there were a few wood ducks, …
a solo male red-breasted merganser, …
and a solo pied-billed grebe. There have been a few hanging around in the park this week, but this is the first time I’ve seen one on the pond this season.
Meanwhile, down on the river, there was a pair of grebes, and I got a picture of this one before I realized there were two.
There was also a pair of mallards, and this hen was hunting for something up on a downed tree trunk. I sure hope she finds it.
On my way back home, I took one more swing by the pond, and it afforded me the opportunity to catch a yellow-rumped warbler finally showing off its namesake yellow rump patch.
Best of all, I got to welcome this freshly-returned gray catbird back to Estabrook. It was parked in a bush beside the pond, perhaps waiting for a little bit of April sun to warm it up, and I can’t wait until they start singing from the bushes again.
Finally, big clumps of snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) are up in the lawn on the north side of the maintenance building.
The ones that got away today, before I could get a picture, were a quintet of blue-winged teals dabbling along the edge of the river with a pair of mallards. Maybe next time.