It had been several days since I had been birding so I decided that I would go out despite the overcast skies. I decided to go visit Afton State Park, I had not been there since I participated in a St Paul Audubon field trip in the early summer. By the time I got off of work there were a few peaks of sun so I was hopeful that I might get some productive shots.
As I entered the park I spotted a red-tailed hawk flying overhead. Unfortunately there are no parking spots at that part of the road and since there was other traffic I was not able to pull over and get any shots of the hawk. So I continued on to the parking area and headed down the hiking trail towards the river. Along the trail I spotted quite a few sparrows, warblers, robins, chickadees, and other small birds, however between the clouds and the trees there was not enough light to get any descent shots. When I got down to a picnic area that was a little more open, down near the river, I noticed a few birds fluttering around in the small trees. I decided to play the waiting game and found a good place where I could observe the birds and wait for them to get more comfortable with my presence so that they would come out into the open and I could take some pics. A little patience paid off and I got a few shots of both ruby-crowned and golden-crowned kinglets.Unfortunately the ruby-crowned kinglets were not showing me their crowns.You can tell by most of the pictures that the weather was pretty gray out.
I did get a nice peak of sun every now and again and I was quick to take advantage.
Because the light did not last very long.Down on the beach I spotted a few ring-billed gulls flying over the river. One dove in after a fish while this one decided to take a rest on one of the swimming buoys. After too short a time the sky got darker so I decided it was time to take off. On my way out I spotted a group of wild turkeys foraging on the side of the road. Since there were not any cars on the road at that time I pulled over and took some pictures.A little further down the road I spotted the red-tailed hawk that I had seen when I arrived. He was sitting in a tree not far from the road with a beautiful gray sky as a background (sarcasm alert). I stopped again anyway and took a few shots and then headed off to home and dinner.