If there was a theme to today’s walk at Nisqually Wildlife Refuge, other than how many days in a row can the weatherman be wrong, it would have to be “raising the kids.” The day started with a sighting of this Hooded Merganser with her brood of ducklings paddling straight toward me:
Of course, the magic of Aperture and Photoshop managed to make the shot better than it actually was because it was awfully gray when I started the day, and not much lighter when I ended at 1:30. Heck, I had to put on a jacket over my vest and don a pair of light gloves to keep from freeing while standing around taking pictures.
A few yards down the trail I sighted this Wood Duck with two chicks:
It didn’t take much longer to sight several Cedar Waxwing, though it took me awhile to realize they weren’t in flocks because it was parents feeding chicks individually. I don’t think that I would have even realized that one of these was a “chick” if I hadn’t seen the mother come over with a mouthful of berries to feed to the very large baby.
It wasn’t long before the mom had left, and the chick set up an awful racket, even though I was only a few feet away snapping pictures.
I’m not absolutely sure that this is the picture of a young robin, but it was making an awful racket and, unlike most adult robins I’ve seen in the wild, it made no attempt to take off when I stood below taking pictures.
Despite the clouds and cold, it was a great homecoming for me since I haven’t been back to Nisqually for nearly three weeks, what with a trip to Colorado and one to Vancouver in the last two weeks.