I am loving the crisp mornings we’ve had the last few days. The tree swallows are here in abundance now; pied-billed grebes are popping up in all the ponds and marshes; the wood ducks are in the owl box; herons are dancing around everywhere. The moon is full and glorious.
As the temperature drops, I get out more. I love the crisp weather and having a walk to myself. There is still time to see migrating birds and the residents who will stick around as long as the water is not frozen. Click on pictures to enlarge.
It is that time of year again when I have trouble staying at my desk and getting my work done. The number of migrants at the Wakarusa Wetlands has been astounding. And, of course, the year-round residents like the deer and bald eagles are always a pleasure to see. Click on pictures to enlarge.
On this morning of thunder-snow, I am delighted to post the link to my photo essay, “The Wetlands Is in the Duck and the Duck Is in the Wetlands” at Our Hen House. I am thrilled that they wanted to share this story and amazed by the wonderful work they do. Thank you!
Yesterday, I had a wonderful morning walking the Wakarusa Wetlands and was happy to see an egret had arrived. I decided with all this beautiful weather, this week, I work nights. I went back this morning and as I was coming down the path, seven egrets and five great blue herons came sailing in. It was magical! I was also privileged to see a host of little blue herons, green herons, blue and green-winged teal, grebes, and even a white-faced ibis. Click on pictures to enlarge.
After all this rain of late, the Wakarusa Wetlands are indeed wet, and muddy. Some of my favorite walks have been on these chilly spring mornings. Yesterday, it was so foggy when I got there I could not see very far in front of me, so I moved a bit more slowly to make sure I did not surprise any deer or coyotes. Really, I am sure they know I am coming long before I see them, so it is me that gets the surprise. The fog is mysterious, a little scary, and beautiful. Click on pictures to enlarge.
Once the fog cleared, the sun provided some amazing light. A mink came swimming by and a harrier swooped along the top of the tall grass.
I could not resist stopping by for a few minutes again this morning. Coots were exploring, the Eastern phoebe was guarding the gate, and the turtles were sunning.
While I haven’t been out as much as I would like, I love seeing the arrival of our wintering friends. Bald eagles from the north are beginning to arrive and the harriers seem to be swooping low over fields everywhere I look. I saw my first group of common goldeneyes last week (there is definitely nothing common about them; they are beautiful). Young deer are looking much more grownup than a few months ago. Click on pictures to enlarge.
When I visited last week, there was not a lot of water. I so hope that has changed a bit by now. I have my suspicions that water is being diverted from portions of the Wetlands targeted for destruction to build the SLT. I know it has been a dry, hot summer, but it has never looked like this. Click on pictures to enlarge.
This area is usually completely covered by water.