Nests and Interesting Views

The first brushes of spring is starting to show around the pond, both aurally and visually. The Cardinals and Brown Thrashers are singing their songs, and the trees and shrubs are budding (and in some cases, blooming).

The White-throated Sparrows are active, preparing for their soon-to-be migration to the Canadian provinces. This one paused long enough for me to get some good pictures.

Along with spring comes nesting for the birds, which is well in evidence already.

A pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers have started a hole right next to the south bridge. Whether they choose to nest there remains to be seen. But I can always hope.

A pair of White-breasted Nuthatches have found a clever way to hide their nest from marauding Blue Jays. Their nest is built in right underneath (or behind) a squirrels’ nest. It’s quite close to the path (but fairly far up), so I hope they can brave all the people passing by.

Speaking of mammalian nests… Not quite in the park, but by the Seagroves Farms club house, I found a raccoon sleeping in a rough nest of twigs. I don’t know if it slept through the day there, it was still sleeping there when I drove by a few hours later. I tried a number of different angles, but all I could really catch was its tail and the tufts of its ears.

In the past few weeks, a number of Double-crested Cormorants have spent some time fishing in the pond. These two took a break to pose quite nicely. Cormorants are interesting birds. They fish by diving, so their bones are much denser than the bones of most birds. Because of their weight, they have a hard time gaining altitude when flying. You can watch them fly in a circle two or three times around the pond before they can clear the trees. Another curious feature of these birds are their blue eyes.

Sometimes there are things you can see in reflection in the pond that you can’t see directly. I’ve taken pictures of hidden Green Herons in reflection. This is the first time that I’ve caught a Great-blue Heron that way. I thought I was seeing a pair of Mergansers, but when I looked through my binoculars, I saw this Great-blue.

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