As I walked out into the wetlands I heard the distinct call of a Greater Yellowlegs. It was coming from beyond the mud puddles left by the off-road riders. It rained the night before and the ruts and "donut holes" made by their spinning and wheeling had filled with water. I crept up to an opening where I could get a better view and just then the yellowlegs came flying towards me, calling loudly. Although I was not prepared for flight shots I focused on the incoming bird and fired three shots. Remarkably, all came out looking fairly sharp, so I used the "composting" tool in the Canon DPP software and created a composite image.
The bird settled down only about 20 yards away. It was wary and did not stay very long, but I captured some views as it stepped gracefully through the mud puddles. It was an unlikely place to see such beauty.
Down the gravel road, a Great Egret, bathed in the morning light, took flight as I approached the lake.
A second-year immature Bald Eagle glided over the lake. It is a bit less than two years old, judging from the wing and tail molt, as the shorter and more rounded adult feathers are replacing the longer but worn juvenile ones, and its bill is only beginning to show some yellow at its base. Younger birds would have a darker belly and wing linings, and older would probably show much more white on the head and body and not show such a contrast between the chest and underparts. The wings of a third year bird have all adult feathers and look slimmer and less ragged. This bird may have fledged in the spring of 2012, possibly from the nest only about a mile to the northwest.
At the other size extreme, a House Wren scolded from the roadside:
The wren was joined by a chattering male Common Yellowthroat:
A female yellowthroat was nearby: