A Perfect Fall Walk

As I headed out for yesterday’s birding walk at Theler Wetlands, it was an overcast 43˚, with clouds occasionally reaching ground level. The perfect day for a Fall walk, especially after being trapped in the house for nearly a week. When my fingers got cold, I walked a little faster; when sweat got trapped inside my GoreTex jacket, I slowed down. It was a great 6 mile day.

I was immediately reminded how long since I’ve been here by the shotgun blasts echoing across the wetlands. Hunting season is again upon us. Despite this inauspicious welcome to the refuge, I was cheered when I focused on a pair of distant white birds and realized that they had to be Swans, not the gulls I had originally thought they were.

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I’ve never seen swans at Theler before, so that single sighting probably made my day, though I wasn’t unhappy to see the usual residents, like this Belted Kingfisher on his accustomed perch,

KngfshonHisBranch

or this Great Blue Heron stalking the sloughs.

HrnStlkng

With most of the leaves fallen, the beautiful moss and ferns are even harder to ignore than they are during summer.

FallFrns

I really didn’t expect to see the swans when I returned but there turned out to be a small flock of six swans who obliged my be taking off nearly directly toward me

ThlrSwans2

and then gradually turning northward as they left.

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It would have been hard to imagine a better ending to my Theler visit.

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