Sunday, December 17, 2006

Yesterday, Megan and I created our own, impromptu Christmas bird count yesterday at Kenny Park in North Columbus. This park, which I visit often, serves us well. Today, we saw the following:

First, an overflow channel on the east bank of the river, looking south. Yesterday morning was hazy but bright, and there was an erie sense to the whole park.

This female mallard was dabbling near the opposite bank of the Olentangy as we approached the river from the east. She looked up across the river, saw us, and started smimming across the current to us. She was clearly looking for a handout. Her mate, not quite as brave, eventually came over to check us out as well. Both overshot us on the way across the current, and this female made one heck of an effort to swim upstream the extra 10 feet to get to us.

Here is her pal. I was able to capture this image with Megan's Kodak camera, which boasts an image stabilized 12x zoom lens.

American Robins were feasting on the fruits of Lonicera maacki. This bush honeysuckle has finally lost its leaves (they were still yellow in early December), and the Robins are now taking advantage of the red berries that were passed over earlier in the fall.

Megan and I also saw at least two goldfinches. They were also interested in the bush honeysuckle berries. Here you can see a goldfinch in winter plumage. I am not sure if this is a male or female, but you can see how this bird was intently examining the honeysuckle berries.

Megan and I also heard white throated sparrows and Carolina chickadees. Finally we saw a male and female downy woodpecker. These active birds were impossible to photograph!


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