Saturday, January 16, 2010

2010-01-14 A Rattlin' Good Walk!

Lovely day. It hit 35 degrees and was sunny. A great time to get out for a rare winter walk. Any day above freezing with bright sunny skies and little wind is a great day for both me and the camera!

I walked along the river bank for about an hour around noon. Hey - walking in snow is great exercise! It is like walking on a very cold sandy beach.  It did not seem there was too much happening. I saw four deer straight out in back, then two more in the "Dark Forest". Lots of goldfinches and chickadees around feeder areas.

Lots of Mallards below Ann Marie's place and at Middle Bend. Some doves, a jay, and a couple of Downy Woodpeckers. Two Red-Bellied Woodpeckers at the west edge of the Dark Forest.

More interesting was another fly-over by a Great Blue Heron. I just love seeing them! It was over Middle Bend again, and heading in the same direction as the last sighting I put in an earlier blog. I wonder from whence he came, and where is he going? Is this a daily pattern?

I caught a quick glimpse of a small hawk - sharp-shinned? - in the woods behind Nancy's feeders. I wonder if he had just finished lunch. I wonder if it was the same one I saw eating lunch on an earlier walk.

The real treat came when I heard a familiar rattling sound. Kingfisher in winter? No, I must be wistful! Yet ... Yes! It was a Belted Kingfisher - a male. He rattled up and down the river for about 15 minutes, and even landed in view twice! A kingfisher is one of my hardest birds to shoot because they are so spooky. This time, I could see and shoot him through the denuded forest, and he did not seem to be aware of my presence.

He was a ways off, but I took a few decent pics because the lighting was much better than most gray winter days. What a treat!!!

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