Sunday, February 27, 2011

Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, or BIRDVANA

I've been reading all about how "birdy" it is down at Eagle Bluffs CA on MOBIRDS. I decided to take a look for myself. Wow. They were not kidding. I will be back next weekend, weather permitting.

Ring-billed gulls
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A whole lot of ducks. Mostly mallards and a few northern pintails (#94). I'm sure there are others, I just haven't looked at the photos that hard yet.
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Red-winged blackbirds
The first picture is just a small part of an enormous "stream" flying over the area. I'd guess that it was at least half a mile in length. They were also feeding in the fields and roosting in the trees of a flooded area.
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Northern harrier, male (#95). These guys were all over the place.
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Female
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Northern shoveler
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Blue-winged teal
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Green-winged teal (#96)
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Great egret. (#97) I can't believe how close this bird let us get. Most great-blue herons would take off if you got this close.
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American white pelican. What a gorgeous bird!
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Also seen: American (common) coot, great blue heron, bald eagle, red-tailed hawk, common crow, lesser scaup, canvasback, ring-necked duck, canada goose, snow goose, gadwall, turkey vulture

Full Flickr set here.

Odds and ends from the last few weeks

I've been letting some of my photos build up so I'd have a decent post. Not procrastinating writing a blog post. No, I would never do that, ever.

February 12:

Lake Remembrance

Male and Female Canvasback
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Fleming Park

Bald Eagles
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Belted Kingfisher (#91!)
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Full Flickr set here

February 13, Lake Remembrance. More of the usual suspects. I guess I've gotten jaded with swans. Anyway, if you're interested look here for a full Flickr set.

February 16, Longview Lake North Marina

Domestic Duck, big deal, but I thought this was a really nice photo
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Pied-billed grebe
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Common goldeneye
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Lesser scaup #92
Males
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Female
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Ring-billed gull
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Full Flickr set here

February 17. Back to the North Marina at Longview Lake. More ring-billed gulls and pied-billed grebes. Full Flickr set here

February 18, Blue Springs Lake

Killdeer. This is the first I've seen this year.
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February 21, Blue Springs Lake

Redhead #93
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Sunday, February 6, 2011

At last...a definitive Cackling Goose with a side of Bald Eagle

I have been trying to get a picture of a Cackling Goose for several weeks. I was having trouble telling the difference between Canadas and Cacklings. A MOBIRDS-L birder told me that I'd know one when I saw one. Well, here it is. Yes, it is much smaller than a Canada Goose! Thank you, Greg Zwick (and all you other MOBIRDS-L folks) for your ID tips.

Cackling Goose (front), Canada Goose (rear)
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In other bird news, I saw a Bald Eagle at the Little Blue Trace Parkway on Bundschu Rd in Independence!

Bald Eagle
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Friday, February 4, 2011

Birds of the Snowpocalypse!

Well, things were certainly interesting over the last week. For one, my employer actually closed! Mid-Continent Public Library rarely closes due to weather, and they did just in time on Tuesday for me to barely make it home! Yes, I would say that the weather on Tuesday fully qualified for blizzard status. Interestingly, birds were fighting their way through the wind to my feeders, which were swinging about wildly! I waited to take photos until Wednesday, since about all you could have seen on Tuesday was horizontal snow!

When I awoke Wednesday morning, I was most definitely snowed in! So all the birding I did was out my kitchen window.

Song Sparrow
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Tufted Titmouse
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Savannah Sparrow
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Downy Woodpecker
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By Thursday morning, I was able to get out of the house. Unfortunately, I also had to go to work. But I was off today, so I made the best of it. I decided to stick close to home so I went to (surprise!) Lake Remembrance. The swans were around but I couldn't get any really good photos of them.

Canada Geese and Snow Geese
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I decided to go around to the north end of the park and walk in. Nothing quite like making the first tracks in fresh snow. And nothing quite as tiring, either! Along the way I ran into this fellow.

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Song Sparrow
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American Kestrel
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I was rather surprised to run into a flock of Eastern Bluebirds!

Eastern Bluebird
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American Tree Sparrow
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After a quick detour to Chipotle for lunch, I returned to the south end of the lake.

Slate-Colored Junco
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Canvasback, male
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Ring-Necked Duck (and Canada Goose and Bufflehead)
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No new species, but some nice photos nonetheless. And I'm worn out from walking through all that snow! Maybe some cross-country skis would make it easier. No, I'd better keep saving up for that D7000.