Thursday, November 17, 2005

Snow and Loons

Yesterday we had our first snowfall of the season and this morning's temperature was a rude 10°F. While everything outside sort of looks and feels like we're already at winter's apex, the fall has been mostly pleasant with good birds and successful digiscoping. Can't complain too much! Anyway, this afternoon I braved the cold temperatures, bundled up and went to Marshall Park to see what I could find on Lake Mendota.

Lake Mendota birds - Marshall Park (Middleton) 11/17/05:

Common Loon (6)
Canada Goose (100+)
Horned Grebe (2)
Bufflehead (50+)
Common Goldeneye (3)
Redhead (5)
Canvasback (1)
Ring-necked Duck (10)
Northern Shoveler (1)
American Black Duck (2)
Mallard (100+)
Hooded Merganser (6)
American Coots (100+)
Herring Gull (3)
Ring-billed Gull (10+)
Bonaparte's Gull (5)

As I stood at the rocks along the shore scoping the water, a Winter Wren popped up and gave me a quick look - an aptly named bird definitely in its element today! I could barely take standing out there for an hour wearing three layers. How this tiny wren endures when its this cold is a marvel of nature to me.

All images © 2005 Michael McDowell

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