Home, Really Home

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:

Meganser Chicks with Mom

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:

Wood Ducklings

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.

Young Cedar Waxwing

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.

Young Robin

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.