Friday, April 29, 2011

It's Friday!

A mixed bag here. Wood Ducks are awesome! I was able to see three of them yesterday as I birded the Wheatridge Greenbelt along Clear Creek. I was hoping for a pile of migrants, but didn't end up finding many. There were a handful of Audubon and Myrtle Yellow-rumped Warblers late, but otherwise most of what I saw was similar to the past few weeks of birding.

So I had to be consoled by seeing two of the most striking waterfowl species in the area. (Three if you count my distant looks at a Cinnamon Teal preening in good light). These Hooded Mergansers found themselves too close for comfort to my course along the path and were putting distance between us. They were moving a bit too fast for clarity with the camera setting I selected, but were close enough to imagine the scene.

Wood Ducks, with all their color, could keep me captivated for hours. Despite their appearance these brightly colored ducks aren't very comfortable in the spotlight, and offer fleeting looks at best. Daylight faded, and although I found a perched Great Horned Owl that a group of runners had seen further along the trail the lack of light kept it from being photographed well enough for posting here....So, I found myself due for a nest check-in this morning.

Check out that foot! I left the nest after a quick visit this morning thinking I had gotten no greater detail than some less gray colored nestling lumps. Imagine my surprise when on looking at the shots I saw those toes. Anyone care to do some rampant speculating? Do young birds roll around and sleep in weird positions like puppies? Or, is this a more gritty view of the reality that in bird rearing the weak are often literally held down by the strong? If a foot view is any indication it seems that the upside down bird is almost ready to do a bit of killing. Perhaps just a stretch that felt oh so good?

At one point the upright bird did turn its head, (I believe to check on a garbage truck across the busy street), confirming that the foot did belong to at least one other bird. The adult, meanwhile, seemed to have no interest in me glancing my way once and then turning its attention elsewhere for the minute or two I was around.

It will be interesting to see how much longer the nest remains occupied. My novice impression is that the fledging approaches.

2011 Count: 115
Lifetime: 254

1 comment:

  1. The ducks are so pretty! Terrific shots of them!