God had other plans. The sky was cloudless. The frost was non-existent. The cold was bracing, reminding me of the clod winter days walking the impoundments. Needing the exercise, I set out for a pleasant morning walk with cameras at the ready hoping that something would catch my eye.
Towards the end of the Cross Dike Trail I encountered this Pied-billed Grebe. This was going to be the first of many encounters that would make me wish I had brought my long lens.
Following the trail along the upper impoundment, I encountered quite a few active birds in the vicinity of the "Poison Ivy" bench. In addition to the expected Chickadees and Swamp Sparrows there were several Yellow-rumped Warblers and a couple Yellow Warblers.
Female Yellow-rumped Warbler
The reason they are named Yellow-rumped Warblers
Also nearby was a Blue-headed Vireo. I've been told that this is getting late in the year for their sighting at Great Meadows.
Downy Woodpeckers are not unusual at Great Meadows but today I encountered six or seven in a relatively small area with is not common. Most of the time they are found on the wooded side, but occasionally you will find them on the cat tail reeds in the impoundment. It looks unusual, but they aren't resting, but actively eating something found in the reed.
Back along the Cross Dike Trail a pair of Mallards exploded out of the impoundment and flew by at close range. Thankfully I got off a few "shots" before I was left photgraphing the eastern end of a west bound duck. Which one do you prefer?