2023 Begins

Gray day after gray day. The year got off to a gloomy start. But I am happy to report today was mostly sunny, tomorrow will be as well, and even yesterday afternoon – after I got back from a visit to the lakefront – the sun had broken through the clouds. So I hope to be sharing sunnier-looking reports with you soon.

That said, these photos are from visits to Riverside on January 2 and 4.

On the 2nd, perhaps most interesting was observing a disagreement between two Mallard drakes. The one on the right is the interloper. You can see the progression of their little spat by advancing the slide show. The guy on the left was eventually successful in defending his territory and saw the challenger off into the water.

Beyond that I noticed a pair of Mallards preening on their own little ice floe.

For the lack of birds to photograph I took notice of some other things.

The old Riverside water tower,,,

Some interesting lichen below…

That looks to be Phycomeces or “Snow Mold” below, then some of the moss that grows on the stones lining the paved river path, and I don’t know what to make of the stringy roots attached to a fallen log but it looked interesting on January 2.

When I got back to the Lyons side of the river I found some distant Red-winged Blackbirds and Dark-eyed Juncos.

January 4 was considerably cloudier, if that can be imagined.

The light was so poor it was difficult to capture any birds clearly, but luckily I had an obliging Black-capped Chickadee or two.

Even these Northern Cardinals seemed skeptical that I would bother trying to capture their images.

I managed a few photos of a young-looking White-breasted Nuthatch.

And the best bird – because I haven’t seen one in quite a while – turned out to be a Brown Creeper, rather close to the paved path.

Canada Geese were coming back to the river as soon as enough ice was melting. I have seen “64H” so far every visit this year. I just decided to report it to the US Geological Survey to find out where it was banded. It will likely take several weeks to get a reply.

I hope to be back very soon with a 2023 Crow Post. The days are getting longer. Yesterday late afternoon when I was playing piano for the birds, we welcomed the first fledgling. It’s a beautiful little dark gray bird with a very striking white throat. I hope it does well and grows up to be a welcome member of the flock.

On top of everything, I have found a new source of energy in spite of the winter gloom. I am having fun writing the book, all of a sudden. I know one is not supposed to have fun writing a book, but that’s where I am right now, just slowly letting it happen. It’s much like falling in love.

6 thoughts on “2023 Begins

  1. Hi Lisa – I’m catching up on all of your posts today. Before Christmas my days were !crazy! what with Christmas, CBC’s, and getting ready for the trip I’m on right now.
    My husband and I flew down to central Chile to have a short birding trip. It’s been lovely to be in the warmth and color of the Chilean summer and to revisit some old and new birding places. I wish I could put some of this sun in a bottle to take home with me! Your past posts sound a lot like the weather we were having in Maine. I have to ask- did the rescued red tail recover?
    Love your photos-

    • Ann, Chile sounds wonderful! How nice of you to take the time to read my blog!
      Alas I haven’t heard anything more about the rescued Red-tailed Hawk since it was taken in and diagnosed with head trauma. I am keeping an eye out for further information but I would imagine the nature of the injury likely makes it hard to assess noticeable improvement for some time. Plus the rescuer has a showing of her photographs this month at Dixon Mounds, so I’m sure she’s busy with that and I don’t want to bother her. As soon as I hear anything I will post the information.

  2. The sun has poked out, at least a little over the last few days. What an encouraging sight. Alas, for how long is another question. Loved the brown creeper, such a fun bird to watch. Congrats on finding the focus and joy of working on the book.

    • The sunshine is glorious today. I think we have snow in the forecast, but even that is better than gloom, at least snow reflects whatever available light there is. Thanks for the encouraging words.

    • Thanks for encouraging me. I confess I got quite tired of talking about writing and I think it finally pushed aside the boulder or whatever it was blocking my path.
      The roots, or uproots, if you will, patiently sat still while I tried to get them in focus. If I wasn’t lugging around my big lens all the time I could get a lot more interested in these things.

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