September 11, 2020

It’s the first beautiful morning of this work week:  the sky is clear and sunny, the snow is gone, and the temperature is in the 50s.  I walked to the little pond at the corner of Estes and Yale.  I almost didn’t recognize it:  the trees around it have been cut down, apparently as part of the Russian olive tree mitigation project.  This includes the big tree where I spotted the juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron the other day.  The adult Black-crowned Night Heron, who always used to sit within the shadows of that big tree, found a more exposed spot to perch this morning.  No hawks or Belted Kingfishers.  Several Mallards were dabbling in the pond.

Black-crowned Night Heron

While walking home, I spotted this fluffed-out Song Sparrow:

Song Sparrow

At the pond north of Bear Creek, I watched two Mallards repeatedly dive–for up to two full seconds.   After each one came up with a crawfish, it would dart to the far edge of the pond and gobble down the crawfish under cover of the reeds.  The blue speculum was visible on both.

At home several hummingbirds–including a male Black-chinned Hummingbird–are still enjoying the nectar feeder.  Now that the skies have cleared, the foothills are visible off to the west.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird