The winter walk series is back, today was the first day. It was a bit dicey in places, but everyone made it through without injury. :-)
Then we thought we heard a hawk so we went to check it out. It turned out to be a jay, apparently the best mimic in the park! It sounded much more like a hawk than a jay to me, it was absolutely amazing.
A female red-winged blackbird came over, she was gorgeous! I love the feathers with an edge like this. The female mallards have that too, and it's just beautiful. It's funny that sometimes the female birds with the colors that blend have the super-fancy patterns. They are sort of -eh- from far away, and once you see them up close, they're just incredibly gorgeous.
Continuing on to the castle, we heard and then saw a yellow-bellied sap sucker, but it did not want pictures. Which is too bad because it was a really nice one, quite vivid.
Up to the maintenance field, looking for the thrush. Seeing a fox sparrow, which I was too slow to get a picture of and then had a terrible angle on.
Of course there were tufted titmice and black-capped chickadees everywhere, but no decent pictures this time. They are so frustrating! I did manage to get several pictures of branches where they ~used~ to be.
That was it for the group walk, we went back over to the west side and I continued on down the park road to walk home. About 3-4 blocks down, where the little patch of open water is on the lake, I was scanning the ducks and geese to see if there was anything I wanted to see when a red-tailed hawk came in! It looked like a juvenile to me but maybe it was just small. It landed ~right~ above the ducks and geese, but they were not super impressed. I think it was about the same size as a duck, it didn't look like it could really handle one.
It was a great walk, I'm glad I went! :-)