November 15, 2018
Yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous day for a picture walk. The sun was out, the skies were clear—and there was no wind. If it wasn’t for the snow on the ground and a thermometer that read 35 degrees, I would have thought it was summer! What a contrast to the arctic blast of the day before! I couldn’t wait to spend the day taking pictures at the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary!
As soon as I arrived at the sanctuary, there was a welcoming committee of song birds! Well, truth be told, they weren’t all that interested in my arrival, but they were interested in all the well-stocked bird feeders scattered near the entrance! The nearby trees, where the birds waited patiently for their turn at a feeder, provided an excellent perch for natural looking photos. I must have taken two hundred pictures before I even passed through the entrance!
Once inside the sanctuary, the main attraction, for many visitors, are the very large and very noisy trumpeter swans—they are impossible to ignore!! Next in line are the huge flocks of Canadian geese and mallard ducks. They are less noisy than the swans but much more prolific.
Then, depending on the day, you may see a lone Mandarin duck in a nearby pond. He is an absolutely stunning bird, but is often hard to spot– either because he’s swimming in among a hundred other birds (mostly mallards), or because he’s hidden in one of the bushes along the shore. Yesterday, though, was my ‘double-luck’ day! Not only was the duck swimming in full view—he was close by! Also elusive, but equally beautiful (well, almost) are the wood ducks. Sometimes, I find a pair or two hiding out along the eastern shore of Wintergreen Lake, but not today.
Then, depending on the time of year, I might see less common ducks, or ducks that are just migrating through. In that respect, yesterday was a super-duper-mega-duck- bonanza! I saw buffleheads, hooded mergansers, redheads, and lesser scaups. (I’d never even heard of ‘redheads’ before!) There were tons of these birds floating around Wintergreen Lake—but they were so far from shore that it was really difficult to get good pictures. I did manage to get a few shots, though, that were good enough for my bird app to identify what they were—like the lesser scaups and the redheads, which were not familiar to me. It was such a large flock of birds, though, that there may have been even more varieties of birds out there, but, I didn’t have my binoculars with me to confirm my suspicions.
Aside from some very mysterious and frustrating problems with my camera yesterday, it was the best day ever!