It was hot and sunny this afternoon, and we are expecting strong storms tonight. A mid-afternoon hike proved to be interesting. A Tufted Titmouse was building its nest in the same tree in our yard as in previous years. Don't know if it is the same parents coming back, adults who were born and raised here, or newbies, but still fun to watch.
Didn't see much else for the first two miles, but on our return to Lake Monocan, I saw a Double-crested Cormorant on the lake - only the second time I have seen one here.
I then headed around Sawmill Creek ponds 6, 5, and 4. A Wood Duck flew away as I approached pond 6. There were Eastern Painted Turtles and a Canada Goose taking a siesta in the 85 degree temperature. There was a Belted Kingfisher and a pair of interesting ducks on pond 5. The ducks look like they are juvenile male Hooded Mergansers - the long narrow bill and yellow eyes are characteristic of this species, but the coloring looks like a female; however, the black bill and white stripe behind the eye looks like a male.
Eastern Painted Turtles
Near pond 4, there was a Red-shouldered Hawk calling out loudly, and a Northern Mockingbird was having a snack. On the way home I saw a Pine Siskin at a neighbor's feeder - a winter bird, and the first one I have seen this season.