Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Spring day, winter birds

Such a beautiful day, with temps in the 50's and sunny skies, I just had to get out to do some birding. I couldn't figure out if I wanted to go to the state park or check the river. Both have water out of their banks, which usually means I see good birds. Since it was 2 in the afternoon, I decided to go to the park, since it was closer. I am glad I did!

When I first got there, I seen a couple with their scopes on something, Snow Geese! I got my scope out and put it on the birds. The couple had left as soon as they seen me coming with my scope. I wished they would have stayed, as I am pretty sure that I could see at least one Ross's Goose with the Snow Geese in the middle of the lake. The heat distortion and north winds/waves made it hard to see (I have a somewhat flimsy tripod!). The glaring afternoon sun's reflection off the water didn't help with getting pics.

Looks like a Ross's with Snow Geese (far away)

As I was looking at the Snow Geese in the scope, a Red-necked Grebe popped up in the foreground - a life bird! The bird looked as if it was going to fall over on its bill, as it looked to be leaning forward. I got good looks at it, but it was hard to keep track of, so I was unable to obtain a picture.

A male Bufflehead also flew in and landed right in front of me on the lake - love them!

Male Bufflehead

No sooner had the Bufflehead touched down, I heard a loud ruckus from the 100's of RB Gulls. They all took to the air and so did the Snow Geese. It took me a while to find out the cause of all the commotion, ah ha - an immature Bald Eagle flying over the lake.

Immature Bald Eagle

I was able to get distant pics of the Snow Geese in flight with the possible Ross's mixed in. (They still were very far away!)


⇧I was thinking the 5th goose from the top right might be a Ross's. The bottom 4th goose from the right also looks different to me. (Click on the photo to go to Flickr for a larger image.)⇧


Here⇧ , from a different angle, the 7th bird from the right looks like a Ross's to me (RB Gulls are also in the pic).

The geese put down back on the lake, but farther away. I decided to leave the lake and take a hike in the woods looking for other signs of Spring. There wasn't much going on in the woods, so I decided to swing back by the lake. The Snow Geese were gone, but a skunk decided to start towards me from up on the hill, so I decided that it was time to leave!

Mr. Skunk!


  1. After consulting with other birders, including Greg Miller of The Big Year fame, there are TWO Ross's Geese in the in flight photo like I thought.

  2. have such a good eye! What a great find...

  3. Very nice blog you have here!

    Kah Wai

  4. Awesome blog.thanks......