This past Saturday morning the Fill was more birdy than I've seen it in some time. I was greeted just off the parking lot by a lovely little flock of White-crowned Sparrows (who are ever so photogenic):
Notice anything about the foliage in those shots? I sure do -- FALL! It sure does look as if Autumn has arrived at the Fill. Certainly cooler temperatures have arrived.
On the lake there seemed to be more ducks than before, though they were backlit so I couldn't tell if any were our northern visitors. On Main Pond I did see a small group of Northern Shovelers back from up north -- hurrah!
Next I spotted an Orange-crowned Warbler flitting among the trees -- a Fall migrant! While I was trying to line the warbler up in my camera sights (unsuccessfully), I heard the light tap of a Downy Woodpecker nearby.
The Downy is a bird that has vexed me mightily over the years. I see them at the Fill maybe once every tenth visit or so, yet have never gotten a decent photo of one. Not that I didn't try -- but always the dang bird was too high up, or too backlit, or too hidden in foliage, or moving too quickly. Most irksome.
This Downy was not too high, not too far, not backlit, and it popped out from the foliage from time to time. I gave up on the warbler and tried for the Downy. My first effort was good, though not great, as the bird's tail was partly hidden:
And then of course, he (yes, it's a male) started flitting about too quickly. Gah! I fired off about thirty shots, and then finally the magical moment happened -- he stayed still! In good light! Fully visible!!!
Finally, I got my decent photo of a Downy Woodpecker. Hurrah!
Meanwhile, Truman sat in the grass at my feet wondering what all the fuss and bother was about.
There were plenty of other birds out and about that morning, but the Downy was a highlight for me. What a charming fellow!