Sunday, December 13, 2015

Birding to Work Day

     As we creep into the middle of December, I have to do more adult things, like prepare my annual slew of holiday cookies, clean the house, collect gifts for everyone, cook food for gatherings, attend gatherings, and take care of the everyday things like work, the mini zoo in our home, and the list goes on. So, in order to get my proper dosage of the outdoors, I squeeze it in where I can.
     Yesterday I got to work at the zoo in Prospect so with the convenience of working close to home and park between work and my home, it only made sense to leave early and bird my way to work. It was just enough for me to feel like I made it outside on this very unseasonably warm weekend, while also accomplishing some things I need to complete for the holidays.
I left my home in a sweatshirt and vest, by time I made it to work, I was sweating! With a high in the low 60's, yesterday was more like Early May than Mid-December. By midday I saw insects like flies and bees buzzing about and the night before I had the pleasure of getting 3 December Mosquito bites, including one on my noggin.
I found the most common of park residents made for some stunning pictures today, like this SAmerican coot that seems to be gliding over a fiery lake and looking rather sinister in that charcoal-grey plumage.
I was really happy to see this pair of ring-neck ducks. They weren't to thrilled about anything, at least 40 geese moved their way across the lake past them, not even a lift of the head, just a glaring golden eye while their bills remained tucked away.
A squirrel assesses whether or not it is safe to move from this tree to the next with me standing on the other side of the tree.
2 of the 3 buffleheads just scooting across the lake, diving from time to time in sync with each other.
A ruddy duck caught in the ripples of another diving ruddy.
Stopped to say "hey" to the bunting. See him? Yep, that's how he is a lot of the time, but I couldn't hang around and really didn't want to, because even at 8:15am, he drew in a large crowd.
This mallard just in front of the lakeside pavilion was looking quite dapper, again, found a lot of good stuff in the common, usually overlooked birds of the park.
My favorite photos of the day are this male house sparrow who caught my eye on this old planter/pillar. 
He even posed and made for a great capture to end my walk to work.

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