Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Down By The Riverside II

This is the dreary time of year; at times it seems as if everything in the outdoors has turned drab gray or brown. Even the sky was gray this morning, without a hint of blue anywhere. Nonetheless, it was a good day to walk along the river, although with the low dark clouds and a bit of mist in the air it was a terrible day for photography.
Even the birds along the river were various shades of brown, gray or white on this gray morning. As usual, the most abundant birds on this December morning were dark-eyed juncos, flitting among the shrubs or flushing to fly a short way ahead as I walked.
Out in the river were more gray and brown birds – two female buffleheads loafed not far from shore –

A short way further were three horned grebes swimming upstream at a leisurely rate –

And further out in the river was a lone female lesser scaup – even the normal white at the base of the bill was drab, hardly noticeable –

Further along, on top of the electric transmission tower where I’ve seen and photographed them before, were two adult bald eagles. Hardly anyone would describe adult bald eagles as drab, certainly not me. But who could deny that the eagles’ predominant colors are brown and white?

Last but far from the least of the birds along the river this day, in a tree near the tree where one or both of the resident birds frequently perch, was the male peregrine falcon. The falcon’s crop was bulged a bit, probably by one of the many pigeons that frequent the nearby bridge –

He soon moved to the favored tree to join the much larger female –

It may have been a gray day, and the birds may have been gray and brown with some white thrown in, but the walk turned out to be anything but drab.

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