Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Beautiful, Breezy Afternoon

After my trip to see the Trumpeter Swans Monday morning I was fired up and hoped for some more good birds after work. I did want to avoid as much of the wind as possible though. So I headed over to the Greenlee Preserve at Waneka Lake. There is a mile trail looping the lake, and the preserve has a wooden deck overlooking an adjacent marshland and pond. It is tucked into some trees - well sheltered from the wind. I fought the wind across the open areas surrounding the lake to get to the preserve, and then soaked in the peace and calm of the sheltered overlook. It was great!
The wind was clearing the air, and the sun was low enough to generate some good light - and frustrating shadows. I remained on the observation platform for an hour or so, enjoying all the sights and sounds I could, and relishing being back outside after the 4 days of sick. Nature was putting on a great show that afternoon. A group of Juncos were on one side of me as I arrived, and a pair of Downie Woodpeckers were working through the trees on the other. Robins, Chickadees, and House Finches all were busy around me; apparently they enjoyed the calm in the trees as well. Shortly after I got there a Red-tail, likely this one, took off from a spot further down on my side of the pond and made a slow circuit before settling on one of the far side trees. Red-winged Blackbirds were scattered throughout the reeds, displaying their epaulets and singing in the setting sun.
My photography was unproductive. The shadows of the tree limbs and thick branches made many shots cluttered, and many birds dark. It was one of those days where anything at a distance was in good light, and anything close was not. Even this Song Sparrow working an open area in the marsh grass was partially obscured.

That sun sure was nice, and down in the grass he wasn't feeling the wind at all.

Not the best pic of these Green-Winged Teal taking off, but the light caught the namesake green patch on the trailing edge of the male's wing.

Mmmmm! Tasty! I'm not certain what the main course was for this Ring-billed, but it looks suspiciously like a crayfish or shrimp head.

So I didn't add any more species, and there were no spectacular images captured, the day was beautiful despite the wind. Now that the Colorado weather has turned wintry again it is very nice to have a springlike memory from just two days ago.

2009 Count: 57

Lifetime: 87

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