Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Potter County 2019

Wow. Where did June go? I'll tell you where - to house projects, that's where. After 20 years in our house, we broke down and decided to do some renovations and upgrades. After weeks of disruption by contractors and painters, we headed up to Potter County with our friends Jill and Becky for the summer solstice weekend. The plan was for Becky to teach us how to fly fish but the weather made that impossible. It rained for 3 weeks straight prior to our arrival making the streams unfishable. We hiked instead and I got to show them some birds. Cedar Waxwings are easy birds to show to non-birders. They are beautiful and often pose like this one did.

Cedar Waxwing
Really pretty birds are great to show non-birders. Unfortunately, many of the pretty birds are often difficult to see. Blackburnian Warblers are usually bouncing around at the tops of trees which puts them in that "difficult-to-see" category. Not this guy. This guy was flitting around in a walnut tree at eye level right in our yard making it easy for Jill to see. She was impressed.

Blackburnian Warbler
I snuck away to do some early morning photography down by the stream while the others lounged at the camp. There is a place where I can stand on the road at the tree top level which makes it easy to photograph yellow warblers and willow flycatchers. On this day, the stream was running high and fast. I heard a quack and saw a mother Common Merganser swimming against the current followed by 3 tiny ducklings. Wait til you see how cute this is:

Look how fast #3 swam to catch up! And then it got cuter. I snuck upstream to get an angle for some photographs. Mom didn't know that I was there until I moved. Then, she sounded the alarm call and the ducklings hustled close and jumped onto her back for safety.

Common Mergansers
I don't know where #3 was. Only 2 jumped on her back. I left them alone to continue their upbringing. 

We did see a fish this weekend when we went to the Austin Dam. This is a Sucker Fish that was swimming around a clear pool of water below the dam ruins. 

Colorful birds aren't the only attraction on our hikes. Jill spotted this Red Eft along the logging road. 

Red Eft
All-in-all it was a great weekend despite not being able to fish. The good news for me and Connie is that we were headed back to Potter for a whole week over July 4th holiday. More about that soon.

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