The parking lot was pretty deserted, but the US F&WS crew soon arrived with their pickups, canoes, and personal flotation devices. This crew was pulling the water chestnuts. I had been hoping they were going to look for volunteers like last year. I thought it would be cool to bring my camera along. If the sun ever comes out these kids will have a great tan by the time they finish.
While the weather wasn't cooperating, this Marsh Wren was. This pose with the Marsh Wren grasping two reeds is a classic.
A little further down the Dike Trail, I encountered a Red-Winged Blackbird in a tree. I was amazed at how close I was able to get before he decided to fly. (This photo is not cropped.)
On the backside of the upper impoundment I encountered the Virginia Rail. When I first saw them the mother and baby were nearby. The baby was a cute black cotton ball of a bird. Mom quickly escorted the baby deeper into the reeds where light and prying eyes do not penetrate.
At the end of the path I encountered this young bird that encountered its untimely demise. Another reminder of the circle of life at the refuge.
As I was leaving I spent some time with the Great Blue Heron that hangs out by the Dike Trail bridge. Because many people that pass by here, it has gotten habituated to people. Unless you make a sudden movement, it will allow you to get so much closer than your average Great Blue Heron. After getting a good full length photo (from the tips of its submerged toes to the top of its head), I proceeded to work on capturing some detail photos. I especially like the way the chest feathers look. When the heron opened its mouth, I discovered that it still contained feathers from its preening.
It was good to get out even if the weather was wet and cold. I originally had so many ideas planned for this week, I hope the weather improves so I can try to get to some of them next week.