At last light was starting to spread over the refuge as we started to venture out into the refuge. We hadn't made it to the kiosk before David spied this mature bald eagle high in the trees at the near end of the Cross Dike trail. When it has visited in the past it has always perched towards the far end of the Upper Impoundment. While we were able to get good looks with binoculars and scopes, it was a bit far for the lens I brought. It eventually moved on (after doing a fly by scaring the coots) and we proceeded.
As we made our way onto the dike there were the usual Canada Geese, Coots, and Sparrows along the way. I was clearly the novice among this group of birders, but it was interesting to watch and listen as they learned from each other. In the early morning light, I took this group photo.
(l-r) Allison, David, Bryan, Scott, Julia, Claudio
"Heavy" coming in for a landing, Expect wake turbulence
Approaching front, about to pass thru
While we were stopped next to one of the trees on the Cross Dike, this Downy flew in to count the Christmas Counters.
At the far end of the Cross Dike trail, the group split and my group covered the Lower Impoundment, Timber Trail, and the Railroad Bed up to the treatment plant. Along the Timber Trail Connector (my new name for the ad hoc trail used by the neighbors to connects the Timber Trail to the Rail Trail) we discovered a new tree down across the path.
I found the pattern of fungi interesting
Proof that man may try to impact things, but slowly and surely nature will have its way in the end
The day was more about birding than photography, so you'll have to be content with these few grab shots. The good news was that when we arrived home from Rochester, my repaired D300 was sitting on the steps. The bad news was that the repair reset all the settings in the camera, so much time during and after the walk was spent getting it set up to function the way I need it, to take the photos you enjoy.