Steigerwald Lake NWR.

I took the dogs out to Steigerwald Lake this morning just as the sun was rising...

It was gorgeous out but the birding was a bit slow to start...

Some Common Mergansers flew by along the river...

I saw two, possibly three Green Herons on our walk...

The last stretch of the walk was packed with birds- a kestrel flew by as a Turkey Vulture soared overhead, and a Cooper's Hawk was perched on one of the old barn structures...

There were a bunch of cows grazing in one of the meadows (along with a coyote), and the dogs seemed particularly intrigued by this pair:

Ok, so they just happened to be the closest cows, but I liked to think it was because they are the same color scheme as Jake & Ralph (Jake being tan and white, Ralph being black).  Anyway, it was a great morning for a long walk...


  1. So this is what Ol' McDonald had on his farm...

    Pretty darn scenic.

  2. Jen, looks like a great outing. The scenic shots are beautiful. And I think the cows are cute. Cool sightings of the Green heron and the Mergansers in flight.Great post, happy birding!

  3. I was just rolling over for 40 more winks when you were out at that hour..Awesome sunrise shot!! Super you got the flock of mergansers tightly packed and looking great! Farming here is taking a back seat to forestry...most of the fields are being planted with pine the wide open spaces are closing in..

  4. So motivated to get there at the crack of dawn, but the scenery photos made it worth it- gorgeous!!

  5. So, here's an ignorant question: is it common (no pun intended) for there to be so much white on the face (by bill) of the common merganser? Maybe it's just the lighting, but it seems like a lot of what vs. what I see elsewhere (incl. common merganser google search, images). Thoughts?

    1. I think it's just a result of them flying directly into the sun, though some might be young and have more white anyway.


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