Sunday at the Portage

BC Chickadee IMG_8415_1

Black-Capped Chickadee

After two days getting up before 4:00 a.m., it was wonderful sleeping in somewhat Sunday morning before going over to the Portage. I had no expectations, I only wanted to go out and explore. Perhaps that is the best thing about going to a place you know well: you are always primed for surprises. I started walking in slowly around 8:30. Mine was the only car in the parking lot, so I had the entire place to myself. And it was quiet.

Portage IMG_8078_1

I was not surprised to see Wood Ducks, indeed they have been there every time, but it was special to see the young drakes in their new grownup plumage.

Wood Ducks IMG_8162_1

The surprise was seeing two young raccoons behind them.

Wood Ducks and Racoons IMG_8094_1

I managed to get a picture of one.

Raccoon IMG_8168_1

The last few visits to the Portage have been scarce on woodpecker sightings even though I knew they were always there…so it was nice to see this Red-Bellied Woodpecker.

RB WP IMG_8108_1

Through a break in the trees, a Red-Tailed Hawk was visible, perched on a bare limb over the water.

Red-Tailed Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk

While I was trying to photograph the Magnolia Warbler below…

Magnolia Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

a Winter Wren caught my eye. It’s always a surprise to see a Winter Wren. Especially after I had given up trying to find the Carolina Wren who was singing earlier.

Winter Wren

Winter Wren

Downy Woodpeckers are always plentiful, but this one was busily drilling at eye level.Downy IMG_8488_1

And not all the Gray Catbirds have left.

Gray Catbird IMG_8289_1

Heavy rainfall the night before filled the bottomland with water.

Portage IMG_8328_1

A lone Canada Goose was by the water near the Wood Ducks, standing on one foot

Goose IMG_8166_1

while many more flew overhead.

Canada Geese IMG_8223_1

The most unusual sighting did not produce great pictures, but there were enough to identify a Northern Parula. My ebird sighting was questioned because I had to add this bird to the list; I did not dare add it until I was sure I had pictorial proof.

N Parula IMG_8438_1

N Parula Warbler IMG_8436_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was no shortage of Yellow-Rumped Warblers. Indeed, they were everywhere, although none were as photogenic as the week before. But I caught this one skipping across the duckweed.

Yellow-Rumped IMG_8515_1

The change of seasons renders the Portage a magical place.

Portage IMG_8323_1

4 thoughts on “Sunday at the Portage

    • Ha ha – you get out much more than I do! No, actually, what was going on at the Portage was the result of the much-needed rain the night before and fall migration, and I think I just lucked out with the combination.

      • As I may have observed before, Arnold Palmer once remarked when an onlooker said “That was lucky!” as he holed a bunker shot that he found that the more he practised, the luckier he got. I suspect that that might apply to you too.

      • Thanks – the observation definitely applies to you and your uncanny ability to capture all those flying birds of the day. Maybe the places we frequent most, the local bird population tends to recognize us as not threatening, and the visitors take their cues from the residents too.

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