Autumn at Sandy Lake

We have returned to my wife's family cottage on Sandy Lake in northeastern Ohio.  Autumn colors are peaking though a gray overcast and intermittent showers have cast a pall on the annual display.

Hiking around the lake this afternoon, I encountered the usual mix of permanent and winter residents, including mallards, great blue herons, belted kingfishers, red-bellied woodpeckers, black-capped chickadees and dark-eyed juncos.  A tardy double-crested cormorant was fishing on the choppy waters and blue jays were especially numerous and conspicuous in the lakeside woodlands.  Ospreys, common here during the warmer months, have apparently departed for warmer climes and bald eagles, present throughout the year, did not make an appearance on this mild, cloudy day.  The highlight of my walk was a lone golden-crowned kinglet, foraging in thickets along the inlet canal.

We'll spend a few days here before returning to Missouri and I hope to visit other birding hotspots before we leave town.  More on those excursions in the coming days.