A Return Visit to Lake Ralphine/Spring Lake

On our second visit to Lake Ralphine/Spring Lake, I took a longer lens, hoping to get better shots of the Acorn Woodpeckers we had seen on our first visit.  I should have known that would jinx us because the flock of woodpeckers we had seen defending their larder days earlier were reduced to two woodpeckers standing guard.

Two Acorn Woodpeckers

All was not lost, though, as we saw a lot more birds on the second visit than we did on the first.  It’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen a juvenile Pied-Billed Grebe, but the fading black and white pattern on the neck indicates that’s what this was.

Juvenile Pied Grebe

I thought this bird was some kind of flycatcher, but I was a little surprised when Merlin identified it as a Black Phoebe since all the Black Phoebes I’ve ever seen have been much blacker, not brown.

Black Phoebe

I know this is a juvenile swallow, but Merlin wasn’t a lot of help identifying what kind of juvenile swallow it is — suggesting it is either a Tree Swallow, a Violet-Green Swallow, or a Northern Rough-winged Swallow.

Juvenile Swallow

We didn’t see the pair of Swans that nested at Lake Ralphine in previous years, but we did see a single Mute Swan on Spring Lake.

Mute Swan

The highlight of the day, though, was this close-up of a Black-crowned Night Heron from the back. I was amazed I could get this close without spooking it.

Black-Crowned Night Heron

I prefer the shot from this angle, but I am sure the heron would have flown away if the green foliage hadn’t been between us.  

Black-Crowned Night Heron

One thought on “A Return Visit to Lake Ralphine/Spring Lake”

  1. I love seeing these photos. We haven’t been venturing out much these days, so we don’t get to see all the birds here. It’s been a while since we’ve seen an acorn woodpecker. What a beauty.

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