Sunday, November 20, 2016

Serene Scenery Sunday

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  As we told you earlier in the week, last weekend we went back to Quivira National Wildlife Refuge - and also hit Cheyenne Bottoms a bit, too.  We thought we'd share a bit of how that trip went with you today - ready to hit the road?

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"Settle on in, Mags."
"Might as well, Cam!"

Yep. Might as well get comfy!  I know the drill by now!

Anyway, as I said, we hit Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area first this time. Not much exciting stuff there, but Mom did climb the observation tower and got a good look around. While up there, she shot some video; she pieced that together with other footage from her iPhone and put it together -- we'll include that later in this post. OK, so then Dad thought we'd take some of these cool back roads over to Quivira -- it's 40 miles away. Thankfully, Dad had done a good map study before we left, so there was no need to panic when the GPS did this the WHOLE TIME:

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Yeah.  'Recalculating.'  As in 'Take a U-turn as soon as possible.'  Ha roo roo roo!

Thank goodness it wasn't one of Mom's hair-brained schemes, or we could still be out there!

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The roads were a bit ... dusty.

As I said, Dad did a superb job beforehand, studying the maps, and we got there just like he planned. It was very scenic and got us to Quivira in good time.

Here are some of the bird highlights!

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American White Pelicans, up close and personal.

Those guys got SUPER close to Mom!

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Immature Black-Crowned Night Heron

I'm not sure why Mom calls him "immature".  Maybe he tells goofy jokes or somethi---oh.  Yeah.  Never mind.

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Greater Yellowlegs

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The equally great Great Blue Heron

These next two Great Blues put on quite a show; you've heard of Swan Lake?  How about Heron Marsh?

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"Twirl!  C'mon!  Just like we practiced!" 

Something like that, anyway.

There were more than a few geese there:

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Greater White Fronted Geese, Snow Geese, and Sandhill Cranes.
Oh.  And Cows.

We also saw our first Bald Eagles of the season!!

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Juvenile Bald Eagle!

Compared to all the tiny shorebirds Mom has been photographing, they seemed huge!  Sadly, they were about 1/2 a mile away, but she gave it her best to get them.

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An adult Bald Eagle, pausing to give thanks before his meal

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And chowing down!

Here's another, more cooperative raptor:

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Northern Harrier

It came way closer than the Eagles!

We also drove over to a lookout point we hadn't previously gone to - it allowed us to look out over the Big Salt Marsh from the south.  As Mom scanned with her telephoto lens, she saw two large white birds.  At first she thought they were Pelicans, but they were upright ... and huge.  Then it hit her:

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WHOOPING CRANES!

The sort of rusty blob on the left is an immature one; the one on the right is an adult.  Isn't that cool?!?!  Their time here in Kansas is drawing very short, so that may be the last time we see them this Fall - the cold front that came through may have sent them on their way.  We're not sure, but guess what?  We're going back today to check!

As I said, Mom shot some short video clips and put them together.  She didn't think it was windy until she downloaded everything, so we apologize for the noise.  It's Kansas, what can we say?  Anyway, this will give you an idea of what Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira are like!


If that doesn't play, please click here to view on YouTube.

We hope you enjoyed looking around.  We'll take our traditional rest stop ...

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"Oooh, it's that super-grainy whole wheat bread!""And peanut butter!  Look into my eyes ..."

Mom shared.  Of course.  Who could say no?  Oh.  And yeah, yeah, yeah, she brings snacks specifically for us, too, but ... it's PEANUT BUTTER!  You know?

Let's get buckled back into the HR-V and head home!

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"Keep it serene, everyone!"

Have a great Sunday!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

PS:  For more photos from that trip, please click here for our FlickR album.

9 comments:

  1. We would be tired after seeing all those birds too! Thanks for sharing them with us!

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  2. We kinda got excited over those quacks BOL! Your mom has the voice of an angel! That looks ike such a great place to explore!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  3. Oh, we luffed the twirly birds. That was pretty cool.

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  4. That looks totally serene! Except for the peanut butter part -- that's totally exciting!

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  5. You girls sure do get to go on the bestest adventures! We love that last picture of you, Maggie!

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  6. You mom takes the best birdie photos and OMCs she knows them all by name.

    Mom cracked up at 'recalculating'. For some reason when our GPS does that Dad argues with it...
    Hugs madi your bfff

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  7. what an awesome place - we bet you were tired at the end of the day

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  8. We are feeling so very serene Maggie...but our Mama was jumping up and down when she saw all those cool birdies!!
    Smileys!
    Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

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  9. You guys are great travelers! And our mom knows very little about birds, but pelicans in Kansas? Who knew!

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