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Posts Tagged ‘Dusky Canada Goose’

I led my waterfowl class on a field trip to Sauvie Island and Dawson Creek. We had a few big misses (Gadwall and Wood Duck) but the diversity was pretty good.

mixed flockAt Wapato Access Greenway we found some Dusky Canada Geese along with the American Wigeons and Northern Pintails.

coyoteThis Coyote was munching on a vole.

swansTundra Swan was one of the most common species of the day.

lincoln's sparrowThis Lincoln’s Sparrow was very cooperative, posing out in the open for great scope views. But even then he blended in amazingly well with his surroundings.

cootsYou don’t get to see American Coots in flight very often, as they tend to walk or swim wherever they go. They have even been reported to migrate on foot.

canvasbackCanvasback, looking very regal
canvasback bathSame bird, looking not quite so regal

wigeon pair 1American Wigeon pair, Dawson Creek

buffleheadBufflehead, preparing to dive

cackler 1Ridgeway’s Cackling Goose

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We are in that late winter season when birding seems to slow. I don’t know whether there are actually fewer birds around this time of year or we have just already seen the local winter residents so they don’t hold our attention. In any case, the best birding is usually found in and around wetlands. Here are some recent shots from area wetlands from the past couple of weeks.

great blue heron 1Great Blue Herons are always around, and have started hanging out in their nesting colonies.

dusky canada stretchingThis Dusky Canada Goose was enjoying the sunshine at Ankeny NWR.

dusky canada feeding

coyoteCoyote, Vanport Wetlands

coyote ankenyAnother Coyote, at Ankeny NWR

nutriaThis Nutia at Fernhill Wetlands seemed unconcerned with the group of birders walking by.

red-winged blackbird and lesser goldfinchHere is a Red-winged Blackbird sharing a nyjer feeder with a Lesser Goldfinch at Jackson Bottom. I don’t recall seeing blackbirds eating nyjer before.

spotted towheeSpotted Towhee, Jackson Bottom

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I led a tour on Sauvie Island this week. This is a great time of year for birding Sauvie, as the hunting season is over and there are still large flocks of waterfowl and wintering sparrows.

duskies, snowsHere are some Snow Geese within a flock of Dusky Canada Geese. If you look closely you will find one Taverner’s Cackling Goose and a couple of Mallards.

greater white-fronted gooseOne Greater White-fronted Goose was hanging out with the Taverner’s Cackling Geese. Greater White-fronts are hard to come by in winter, so we were fortunate to find this individual.

green-winged tealGreen-winged Teal, the smallest duck in North America, and one of the prettiest

rough-legged hawkA very distant view of a Rough-legged Hawk

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I birded Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge in preparation for my waterfowl class. Waterfowl numbers have dropped considerably in the past week, suggesting that some birds have already started their northward migration.

Pintail Marsh


Pintail Marsh hosted this small flock of Tundra Swans and Dusky Canada Geese. Protecting winter habitat for the rare Duskies was the main reason for establishing the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex.


Most of the wintering geese were grazing in fields surrounding the marshes. The flock consists mostly of Taverner’s Cackling and Ridgeway’s Cackling Geese.


These very alert Northern Pintails seemed to be keeping watch over the nearby Green-winged Teals and American Wigeons.


Ankeny has two boardwalks that provide access to flooded woodland habitat. This is the Rail Trail.


This Brown Creeper was probing patches of moss on the tree trunk.


If you look closely you can see he is holding a tiny organism in his bill.

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Here are a few recent shots from Sauvie Island (Birding Oregon p. 55).


Sandhill Cranes are still present in good numbers.


Here are some Sandhills with three Dusky Canada Geese (Branta canadensis occidentalis). Note the red plastic collar on the goose on the far left. That is a quick way to identify this subspecies.


While the Sandhill Cranes and Dusky Canada Geese will fly to Alaska to nest, the Great Blue Herons are in full nesting mode now on Sauvie Island. Here is a section of a rookery in a distant tree line. You can see the bulky nests and, if you look closely, several birds perched in the branches.

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