Christine took the girls north to visit family, as there was no school Friday or Monday for them. Unfortunately I was unable to travel with, having classes on Friday and Monday. I took the camera with into town, and with a sunny calm day I was able to enjoy the views around Winona.
I started at Prairie Island Park to see the male Bufflehead. By walking only when the duck dove under water I was able to sneak down to the waters edge without disturbing him. The sun was not compliant for taking great pictures, but it was awesome watching the bird's posture change as he preened, dove, and continually moved around.
After twenty minutes of laying on a log I caught a dark object out of the corner of my eye. I expected to see a crow on the spillway, but was surprised by this little guy coming down to take a drink instead.
The raccoon appears to be looking at me while he is walking down the spillway, but I believe he was unable to figure out what I was or rather was just scanning the area ahead. When the raccoon was about 20 feet away I decided to move and interrupt the jaunt. While quite common, they are not often seen in broad daylight unless sick. While it would have been awesome to watch him walk right under me, the possibility of a rabies bite made me reconsider. This last photo is the original size of the photo with a 300mm lens.
I decided it was probably time for me to head into town to finish errands. I left the Bufflehead in the same location as he started, continually diving, and the raccoon siting in the shade under the tree I had used just minutes earlier. After the necessary errands I went looking for the immature Black-crowned Night Herons that have overwintered along Shive Road. The mallards, belted kingfisher, and herons didn't disappoint.
I love the dark blue reflection of the clear sky on this picture of the heron. With the warm weather and open water they were in a different location that afforded closer photos while remaining in my Jeep.
Now that I am done having fun editing photos, posting this blog, and remembering this morning it is time to go replace parts on the toilet! Have a great day everyone.