I'm sure everyone knows that birders always get up at the crack of dawn to rush off in pursuit of their feathered friends, as they are indeed more active just after sunrise. And normally I do arise in time to hear the Dawn Chorus. And for many years -- at least the last seven years by my reckoning, I even got up and down to the Fill at dawn in the wintry months, bundled up against the cold.
Well, for some reason, when it was sunny and 30 degrees out on Saturday morning, with a dusting of frost over the land, I balked. Scientific studies show there is no solid evidence whatsoever for the insistence by aged folks that they can "feel the cold/wet/snow/storm coming in their arthritic bones." Nonetheless, when I stepped outside on Saturday morning at 7:00am in the frost, I sure as heck felt something. Something that made me turn right back inside and shut the door.
So perhaps -- after one too many wintry mornings spent shivering and freezing and losing feeling in my fingers as I clutched my bins -- perhaps I'd had enough of that. Luckily, it warmed to the upper 40s by afternoon, and luckily my friends Mary and Scott were planning a venture to the Fill in early afternoon, so I used their timely arrival as an excellent excuse to delay mine.
And there were nice birds out and about, plenty of them, ready to entertain us even in the afternoon. Maybe there were more of them about at 7 in the morning, and you know what? I don't care!
The first nice bird I spied was a Red-tailed Hawk way far up and away in a tree.
It flew off to find a better tree (or to get away from pesky crows, I suspect).
On the lake, the coot and wigeon rafts were out in force.
And over on Southwest Pond, we had lovely views of Hooded Mergansers in the autumnal afternoon light.
We also saw a Great Blue Heron, and a Wood Duck, and the Mallards and Gadwalls, and a Pied-billed Grebe, plus a Belted Kingfisher, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Song Sparrows -- and possibly a Golden-crowned Sparrow who refused to turn its head towards us.
I have a few more photos of Truman and of Mary and Scott but shall save them for tomorrow since I have nothing else to post about this week. Stay tuned!