Today we went for the first real hike of the year, heading out to Rollins Savanna. When we left the house, it was overcast, but by the time we got to the preserve, the sun was shining and it was warm!
I didn’t even wear the sweatshirt I’d brought, just walked in a t-shirt. That was the best!
I didn’t get a lot of beauty shots – last year’s growth is still prominent, and this year’s greenery has just started sprouting. What I got a lot of pictures of were the birds. Got a couple of new ones for my collection, too!
The first one I could identify was a new duck. I was looking at a goose and saw a dark head pop up out of the grass. I zoomed in and saw a white mark on its face that I didn’t recognize. I got a shot of it, but not a great one. It disappeared into the grass.
We saw some splashing in a different waterhole, and upon investigation, it was a pair of the new ducks! Now I could see it, and can say it is a blue-winged teal and his mate. NEW DUCK!
While we were looking around this area, there were a lot of birds along the shore and flying around. I saw a kildeer and a sandpiper, a solitary sandpiper I think, and LBBs flying around.
One of those LBBs turns out to be one I’d seen before, but now I have a better photo of it:
Of course, if I’m wrong, someone is welcome to correct me, OK?
But the best capture?
Best I can figure, they are Caspian terns, which apparently can be found around the Great Lakes, so we count. They definitely have black legs and that is the clincher for me, so NEW TERN!
Getting their picture was almost an adventure too. It’s really the first time I’ve gone hunting for a closer shot of an animal by *shock* leaving the trail. The teail in this area looked like they had just redone it, with the netting over dirt all around. I walked up nearly to the edge of the water to get the shot above.
In addition to these, there were tree swallows flying over the ponds, Canada geese (of course), American coots, yellow-rumped warblers, different LBBs, a great blue heron, and – wait for it! – sandhill cranes! They were flying by, so I didn’t see them on the ground this time, but the year is young!
I think I’ll just finish up this post with a couple beauty shots that I did get: