Monday, October 26, 2009

Weekend Waterfowl

The end of last week saw major priorities in life shift dramatically. I guess the priorities don't shift, but the values you place on the lives of friends and family make for unexpected activities. We all have times when our human bonds have to come first, so my time out doors was limited.

I did get a chance to make the most of my limited time by heading to South Platte Park on Saturday morning. My only previous visit was last year's Christmas Bird Count. That was a great day where I totaled over 40 species with the help of fellow birders.

On Saturday I tallied 23 in two hours, not bad, but something I definitely would not have been able to do a year ago. The juvenile Wood Duck at the top of this entry is one of my favorites. The distinctive white facial pattern is visible in traces, but has not yet emerged. The orange eye-ring is a giveaway though.

The others, Mallards, Northern Shovelers, and American Wigeons were all present in far greater numbers. They were also joined by Pied-billed Grebes, American Coots, Ring-necked Ducks, and Redhead Ducks.

Granted, the Great Blue Heron above is not technically waterfowl, but walking under an arching cat-tail it just begged to be photographed - and I complied.

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