Tonight after dinner, Jennifer and I decided we needed to take a walk. We have a wonderful creek near the house called Grayson Creek. It doesn't look like much with the various shopping carts and the water heater, but the wildlife is amazing.
After fighting through the gnats under the trees, we went to the bridge where Center Avenue crosses the creek, and looked at the little falls (no more than 4 inches high). Just on the other side was a black-crowned night heron. That little white arc behind the head is a feather. When it's mating season the ale grows two more. It's really cool to see it/them blowing in a breeze. And you can't really see it in that picture, but in this one you can see the red eye. Truly spectacular.
Further back from the bridge we saw an egret. I'm not sure what kind it was, but there are several types that live around, so it's hard to tell. It seemed smallish and had black legs. Surprisingly, that doesn't cut it down much.
Then we walked away from the bridge and started to see ripple in the water. First they were two male mallards. Then there were some more ripples, and we saw Canada geese. But there were lots of little ripples around them, and with our binoculars, we were able to see five baby goslings. We oohed and ahhed over them, and decided that's why (other than general orneriness) the geese had hissed at us a few weeks ago while we were walking.
A little later a male and female mallard pair came in for a landing, and we're hoping they'll have some ducklings soon. We remember from when we moved in here seven years ago that this is the time for baby ducks, and it's fun to see the groups of them from all the duck that live in the creeks swimming around at various stages of growth. Invariably there is one clutch that hatches late and so you have the group of juveniles that all look like small females, and then this one batch of fuzzy yellow duckings swimming along.
It's really sad how we get off on this, but hey, we're addicted to Cute Overload too, so what do you expect.