Since we couldn’t visit my aunt’s yesterday we went out and spent the morning at the wildlife refuge. There is always something to see there and after the rains of the last few days I knew it was going to be beautiful if dark since the sun wasn’t out and more rain was predicted for last night.
We timed it right because the American White Pelicans http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_White_Pelican/id were there majestically floating along the current in the lake. They are one of the largest birds in the US and I just love seeing them on the lake. Only about 12 were out and about the rest were huddled on the bird island in the middle of the lake. It looked a bit crowded out there since we could also see the resident flock of turkey vultures, the flocks of Brandt’s cormorants and Double crested cormorants, mallard ducks and the single osprey and a harrier hawk, (I think) and a few great egrets and a couple of bitterns. Elsewhere on the lake the Great Blue Herons and snowy egrets were out as well as the American wigeons and one lone wood duck that was really focused on a female mallard. We also saw some buffleheads out on the lake. They are one of my favourite birds, they are just so cute.
I think the turtles are hibernating because I didn’t see any out in the water and no owls though we often see them on dark mornings. We didn’t see a single bunny which is a bit unusual but Alison would not go to the far side of the lake because her boots might get dirty. She bitched about the mud the whole time. She was never a backpacker or a big hiker so this just made me laugh. I had my boots on and I was willing to go anywhere. That is what boots are for last I checked. I was so tempted to splash her in a mud puddle.
I would have gone alone but I knew the lake would be virtually deserted and there is a camp of people that are homeless below the lake and some of them feel very unsafe when you meet them on the trail. It’s stupid to put yourself in harm’s way when you know better. I do it in summer when there are more people around but not when it’s deserted.
I have pictures to post later, of course.