Expected and Unexpected

I used to see Pied Grebes a lot when I visited Waughop lake regularly, but I was reminded how seldom I’ve seen them lately when Leslie insisted that we weren’t seeing a Grebe at Spring Lake. She was sure that this little guy was too small to be a grebe, and it’s definitely smaller than all the other grebes we’ve seen recently. This one was a Pied-Billed Grebe in non-breeding colors

while this one we saw a little later was in breeding colors.

I was really looking hard for Acorn Woodpeckers at Spring Lake, and not finding them, but in the process of looking for them I found this Pileated Woodpecker,

a bird I often see at home but have never seen at Spring Lake before. Strangely, I think this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to one.

I’d almost given up hope of seeing an Acorn Woodpecker on this visit when one

flew right overhead, landing on a tree right next to me just as I was getting ready to leave for the last time.

As I was following it from tree to tree, I caught sight of an even rarer bird for me, this Oak Titmouse.

I’m always amazed at how many birds can be found at Lake Ralphine and Spring Lake despite the large number of people who walk there throughout the day.