Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pretty quiet...

Though it was supposed to warm up later in the day, it was still a wintry 33 degrees at 8:00 a.m.

The meadow has now had it's fall hair cut, but there are plenty of  seeds on the ground for the birds. As I approached the lower gardens, I was greeted by quite a large group of house finches. I counted at least 5 males and 5 females in the group.

Several formations of canadian geese flew overhead at different times. Song sparrows, juncos, house finches and white throated sparrows seemed to travel around together foraging for seeds on the ground or weeds that were still standing tall. A family of goldfinches had picked an area near Bill's garden that they seemed quite partial to.

Which brought me to an unexpected sight. Opposite Bill's garden, a dumpster has been placed and filled with much brush, scrub and invasive multi-flora rose. Are they planning to add more gardens to this area?

Additional regulars around the park included cardinals, robins, nuthatches and mourning doves. I was hoping for some golden crowned kinglets, but no such luck.

It's funny that Matt is writing about barred owls, because that was very much on my mind today and therefore, the reason that I decided to take the path at the top of the upper gardens that leads down to the river.

Unfortunately, I didn't see any barred owls, but I did surprise some kind of creature. I was trying to take a picture of snow on the fallen tree branches, when I heard some kind of action in the water nearby. I was annoyed with myself for frightening this creature and not knowing what it was. Maybe it was a muskrat or a beaver. However, I then saw a flash of gray-blue and some large wings, leading me to the conclusion that it must be a blue heron - and so late in the season! I hoped that it hadn't gone too far and that this time I would be more careful, but sure enough, as I proceeded on my way, I spooked it again and it flew up and away. Though I didn't get a great look at it, I'm sure that's what it was, unless anyone has a better idea.

1 comment:

  1. I like the junco picture. I think they are very visually striking even though I sometimes overlook them in the winter as they become so common.

    Also you never know. I was reading that barred owls, in addition to the usual small mammalian prey, will catch fish and even wade into stream to catch crayfish. But your description sounds more like a great blue though!