The best two weeks of the year: the birds are heading north.
Last night it was pretty late by the time I got outside and the only sightings of note were a couple of hen blue-winged teal.
But one of the advantages of working where I do is an early Friday afternoon dismissal, which means that I was able to spend two hours at the Little Lakes as afternoon turned into evening.
Ruby-crowned kinglets and blue-gray gnatcatchers.
A green heron flew overhead. A great blue waded into the lake up to his neck, so that for a few moments he looked like a bizarrely awkward and strangely long-necked goose floating on the water.
Yellow and black and white and yellow-rumped and palm warblers.
Downy and red-bellied woodpeckers.
One remaining teal.
Song sparrows and chipping sparrows and a lone swamp sparrow busily feeding along the creek.
And the ubiquitous Canada geese and mallards and wood ducks. They're all here to stay. I haven't seen any ducklings yet, but several families of geese are wandering around -- includng one pair with four young parading around the mall near Wal-Mart yesterday.
They would probably be happier at the Little Lakes.