15 January 2009

Shadow Lake a Bird Haven in Bitter Midwest Cold

Bitter cold weather has languished for a few days in the midwest, and with snows a few days ago, it is a frigid landscape.

At Shadow Lake, ever-flowing springs of warm subterranean water has created a unique haven for a few birds.

This small spot was visited on the 15th of January, when the ambient outside temperature was about 6o below zero. Three bird species were noted. There were 55 Mallards appreciating the warm waters of the lake as their own tiny refuge, a single Song Sparrow, and the resident Winter Wren foraging about.

Not much else was about, but the dichotomy of green and blue, contrasting with white and brown created a vivid scene that can be appreciated only a few days a year.

With the warming rays of a sunny day - while bundled up in layer upon layer of clothing - it was a pleasant visit to the local park.

Further up Wood Creek, along Happy Hollow, were some White-breasted Nuthatch and Black-capped Chickadees, a tenacious Red-bellied Woodpecker, and about a dozen Mourning Dove lingering near an open water area, that probably was an appreciated place for a drink of water.

Snow crystals. Note that these pictures have been digitally altered.

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