As in the old Fantasy Island television show, a cast of feathered characters are in the program today. Red Winged Blackbirds puff their feathers and sing Con-Ko-Ree at the top of their lungs, from every other reed along the marshes. Look at me, baby! I'm beautiful and I sing better than any other bird you will find today. Don't get in my way, dude! Con-ko-ree!
Today, all the lakes have melted, and the Canada Geese swim serenely, pairing off with a good looking partner. The White-fronted Geese are gone, as are the Mute Swans from last Tuesday. A mature Bald Eagle surveys the first lake on our route. A variety of ducks swim in pairs or small rafts on each lake, including Ruddy Duck, Wood Duck, Gadwall, Pintails, Bufflehead, Northern Shoveler, and others.
We especially enjoy some of the less common birds, including several lifers for Dick and me. A Turkey waits for us at the Visitor Center before lunch. Purple Finches (LIFER) stop for lunch at the Center too, jostling with White Throated and White Crowned Sparrows at the feeders. I finally get a chance to closely examine some Tree Sparrows, a Fox Sparrow, and Song Sparrows in full breeding plumage. I thought it was another kind of sparrow altogether! They don't look that bright and colorful later in the summer. A Rusty Blackbird (LIFER) joined the Red Headed Woodpecker. One Common Loon dived out of sight whenever we turned the scopes to it. Overall, we counted 63 species today, pretty good considering the unpleasant weather.
Happy Daylight Savings Time to all of you!