Thank you all for all your good wishes and especially all the prayers you sent my way after my knee surgery. I got home Mon PM and I'm faithfully doing my exercises so I can have a complete recovery. The best part of celebrating your birthday in the hospital, you can eat in bed and everyone is at your beck and call.
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This afternoon I had to return a couple books to the public library and I told my spousal unit that I was planning to take a detour on the way home and stop at the reservoir to try and see some waterfowl before it started raining again.
This reservoir is a man-made lake and part of Rochester's flood control project. It used to be a really nice wild area, but now McMansions have been built on 2 sides and another new development has been proposed for a third side.
However, being the only fairly large body of water in southern Olmsted County, there is always a chance for a person to see some good birds there. I haven't been faithful about going over there, even though it's only about 2 miles from my house.
I know it's late in the season, but I took my binoculars, camera, and "Ducks & Geese" field guide to see if there was anything worthwhile for watching and maybe getting a picture of.
Right away after I got out of the car, I saw a pair of Pied-Bill Grebes. I recognized the body shape but had to look in the book to confirm their identity. I've never seen these birds before and was so engrossed in trying to identify them that I completely forgot to take a picture!
As I was walking down the path to the little pier out in the water, I spotted an adult Double-Crested Cormorant flying overhead. That was pretty cool.
Far out in the water, I could see another bird swimming. My binoculars showed me a bird sitting low in the water with a long skinny neck and long yellow beak. My first thought was some sort of grebe, but I couldn't get a good enough look to really determine what grebe species it might be. The bird swam around for a while until it finally made its way over to a partially submerged log and then hopped on top.
Looking through binoculars again, I immediately recognized this wing-drying posture. Could it possibly be another cormorant?
I opened up the field guide and sure enough, the bird I was seeing looked exactly like the picture of a juvenile Double-Breasted Cormorant. My field guide says they're a summer resident in most of Minnesota. I wonder if the adult bird I had seen earlier was one of its parents?
It started raining about 10 minutes after I got out of the car, so I decided to make my way home. As I was leaving the parking area, I noticed this male bluebird sitting on top of a streetlight. Such a gray day.....you can't even really tell that he's very blue.