My friend Mark Glenshaw has been assuring me for some time now that there are plenty of wood ducks in Forest Park, even if they have been acting rather shy around me. Up until yesterday, I had only seen one pair at a time, and was beginning to suspect I was seeing the same two birds each time. Yesterday I saw 3 pairs of wood ducks and today I counted at least a dozen swimming in the pavilion pond in front of the Muny. Hooray for wood ducks! They are, I must say, a great deal more skittish than the mallards or the Canada geese, so it is much more difficult to get close to them.
In other bird news, I saw my first two killdeer of the season, searching the muck in the one of the mostly drained fish hatchery lakes close to the cycling path. I had my muck boots on, so I waded into the muck myself to get a closer view and they didn’t seem to mind too much. The muck made a slurping sound as I moved slowly through it, all the while wondering if there is any quicksand in Forest Park. I wouldn’t really want to be the one to discover it if there were.
There were a lot of little birds flitting here and there, mostly sparrows, robins, starlings and cardinals, but one who alighted just long enough for me to catch some close photos of him appears to be an eastern phoebe. Across from Circle Lake, on a small island in the stream there, a Canada goose sat on her nest, near which a lot of discarded bivalve shells made me suspect there are muskrats in the vicinity. It was another great day in Forest Park!