I got to the park early today in hopes of seeing a deer. As I got out of the car, I thought I saw a dog with a white tail dip into the woods near the path to the upper gardens. I was hoping it was the fox, but it seemed too large. I decided not to follow it but to see if it was near the swamp area so I headed to the path near the beehives because it has a great view of the area - being high on a hill. As I stood there, I heard some crunching noises in the woods. Expecting to see a squirrel, I turned my head and saw a flash of a white tail again. It was a lone deer feeding in the brush. I got to watch it for quite some time as it meandered around the backside of the upper gardens, but it kept to the brush so I couldn't get a decent picture. Something made me wonder if it was the young deer I had seen on its own earlier in the summer down near the soccer field.
As I was watching it, I saw a flash of white wings and thought maybe our owl was present. Decided to go down near the soccer field and look in the woods near the river where I thought it might be. As I looked into the woods near the pond, I saw this large creature in the distance on a branch and hoped for an owl. However, it was a red-tailed hawk. To get a better picture I bush-wacked my way through that awful cat briar. This photo can not do its size justice. It was enormous and sat on this branch for quite some time until it became interested in something and flew off to chase it.
I ran into Haynes around 9:00. Hadn't seen him for some time. We walked the upper gardens together. Saw several tree sparrows, goldfinches, juncos, cardinals, chickadees, house finches, titmice and song sparrows. Of course we saw a few robins and blue jays as well.