My hope was that some of the nesting birds I knew of would still be there, so I could get some more photos for my catalog. Unfortunately, the Chickadees, Wood Thrushes, and Robins had all fledged and the nests were empty. I was saddened when I got to the snag with the Tree Swallow nest. Where there had previously been two holes was now one big gapping hole which looks like some predator helped themselves to a dinner of eggs or young chicks. This snag was close to where I had encountered turtle eggs that had been dug up and opened.
That made me feel like the male end of the cat tail reeds which in three short days are starting to droop, shrivel and soon will fall off.
So I was back at square one. I was going to have to see with fresh eyes. I started slowly. At Great Meadows planes are often seen flying overhead. Today they seemed to be coming in low. With all the problems of birds striking planes, I never could understand the wisdom of aligning an airport runway with a wildlife refuge.
After a while, I started to notice that the setting sun was making the ordinary look interesting.
Who says autumn has a lock on colored leaves?
I'm not a big fan of the Mute Swans, but they do look good in the evening light
This duck landed in the water next to the Dike Path bridge. Uncharacteristically, it was more interested in personal hygiene than concerned about people.
Checking in the reeds, I found this Great Blue Heron which was trying to ambush dinner. Nearby, while looking for Marsh Wrens, I encountered a fledgling Red-Winged Blackbird. The identification was easy based upon the way the parents reacted when I paused to take the photo
As the sun was sinking closer to the horizon, and the shadows and exposure times were growing longer, I wandered back to the tower. A Rose-breasted Grosbeak hopped up into the setting sunlight for a brief moment. An unsolved mystery is where all the fur came from? It does not match many of the animals. On the other hand, since dogs are not allowed in the refuge it shouldn't be from someone grooming their dog.