A Common Goldeneye.
Brown is beautiful.
Lots of these little birds worked the ground along the path. A fox sparrow perhaps?
Fronds of frost.
A sunny patch where the frost and remnants of a recent snow shower have melted off. A Bufflehead female.
Winter color. We are now on the connecting Springbrook Trail,which is paved and follows the stream that feeds the pond.
A pair of Wood Ducks! So beautiful!
Mallards are so common we often take their beauty for granted.
A gathering of assorted ducks.
A male Hooded Merganser!
At the end of the trail we turned around to retrace our steps.
Buffleheads, and on the left, a female Hooded Merganser.
This is a Ring-Necked Duck female. I had to look it up, as I did several others, but I remembered that it always seemed wrongly named, since the ring is most prominent on its bill.
A Green Winged Teal.
The nests in the heron rookery seemed depleted from when we were here before. Could it be wind damage?
We do know that last time we were here there was an eagle nest in that tree that is now broken. We talked to a naturalist then who told us the tree was weak and they were hoping it would break, because the eagles were devastating the heron colony. Maybe now the colony will reestablish.
Just before we reached the end of the trail, Tom was distracted by something off the trail, high in a tree, while I was watching ducks. He told me he was watching a Pileated Woodpecker. But just as I was about to find it, it swooped out of the tree and I feared it was gone.
But no. It landed about twenty feet in front of me, right alongside the path!