The tiny pond in my neighborhood has a rare occupant every winter. I finally saw him recently and stopped by to take his picture. The hooded merganser was the only duck in the pond that wasn’t a muscovy duck. He usually has a mate with him but this morning he was alone. I hope she’s just late getting in from up north. I hope he doesn’t spend the winter alone in this little pond.
Hooded mergansers are very skittish. He stayed across the little pond at first. I sat down on the grass and all of the muscovy ducks came swimming over to me. They sat next to me and I guess the hoody thought I wasn’t a threat because he did swim a little closer. He never got all the way to the edge or up on the bank but he did get much closer than usual. He also spent some time preening in front of me which a good sign but maybe he’s lonely. I’m going to keep looking for that lady duck.
The faces that get no respect, the muscovies came right up to me and I’m assuming they were looking for a handout. After a few minutes they just plopped right down next to me. I didn’t feel like getting up so I started taking pictures of their faces. They are almost like snowflakes, no two faces are just alike.
They got bored with me and started snoozing. It was time to go home.
This was the first time I’ve seen hooded mergansers at Circle B Bar Reserve.
Tricolored heron reflection
Wood stork out in the marsh.
Baby great blue heron almost grown up, still on the nest.
Cattle egret fly-by.
White pelicans coming across the lake.
White pelicans flying over my head.
Not quite fully grown eagle flying high up.
An adult eagle flying over my head in circles.
It was a rare beautiful morning in late January. This winter seems to be the year of the icky weekends. I know, it could be worse. I could actually be living up north where it SNOWS so I can’t complain. There’s still hundreds of white pelicans at the park but they usually stay pretty far away, across the lake. You have to catch them flying high overhead. It was a quiet morning but a perfect morning for a long walk.
I've been seeing this downy woodpecker for a couple of weeks at this hole in the palm tree in my front yard.
Where'd he go?
This weekend I saw him peeking his head out of the hole.
Nice view from up here. You can just see his red head.
The hooded mergansers are still floating around in the channel behind our house. They were right in front of our dock this weekend. Taken through the bedroom window.
Another male hoody shot from the bedroom window.
I’m in mourning. Last weekend we finally took down our dead grapefruit tree in the backyard. The tree towered over at least a third of our backyard. It really looks bare back there now. No more birds sitting in the tree to watch. We are in the process of decided what to replace it with. No more fruit trees though. I’m tired of picking up rotten fruit all spring. No matter what we plant, it will take a while for it to get as big as the ole grapefruit tree. That tree was planted over 35 years ago. There is still some bird action in the yard though. The hooded mergansers are still floating around. I caught a quick glimpse of the kingfisher last weekend. And the big news is the woodpecker in our front tree. We’ve been getting woodpeckers visiting all along but this is the first time one looks like it’s going to nest. The only down side is the palm tree sits on the end of our driveway and the hole faces the street. My neighbors are going to think I’m crazy standing in the middle of the street with my camera (I’ll tell them I’m taking pictures of people speeding through the neighborhood).