I've head "the best plans are the ones that don't happen sometimes". Today might fit that sentiment, as we scrapped our plans and made an impromptu birding trip to Wyandotte County Lake. Michaela didn't want to come with, allowing Danielle and I to search for previously reported Spotted Towhee and Black Duck.
A quick stop at a hardware store now allows us to switch harnesses quickly between binoculars, giving Danielle my new pair. She was great at the Wyandotte Lake library spotting birds in flight and focusing on them with her binoculars. She described them and guessed their names. She liked the birds with the extra crest: Tufted Titmouse, Cedar Waxwing, and Northern Cardinals. We missed the Towhee but kept on scanning for the duck. Lake fog made it quite challenging.
On the drive Danielle watched frozen, as Michaela has grown tired of it Danielle waited until she was alone to watch it one more time. After our initial stop and back in the car Danielle giggled "This is the best part". She was singing, but quieted down as I turned on the camera.
We found a pullout to scope the lake, with one catching our attention. Danielle guessed, guessed some more, and guessed again but could not come up Horned Grebe. I was thoroughly impressed with her diligence of describing the bird, patience and guessing almost every waterfowl name she could remember. We took pictures through the scope to share with home, but our attempts were not very successful (Good luck identifying on these two pictures!). Michaela and Danielle tried this a month ago in better light with better pictures of a White Pelican and Bald Eagle. Digiscoping remains a challenge as I try to get documentation shots at longer distances even with my proclivity for good camera settings.
The rain started shortly after with a mist, then a drizzle, and eventual downpour. Danielle decided to stay in the car as we stopped a couple more times and scoped for the Black Duck. After finding it we headed home in the rain. Here is the eBird list of all waterfowl and birds seen today.