Who We Are

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Getting Our Ducks In A Row

... or at least the photos of them. And the other birds.  Anyway ...

Greetings to all!  It's me, Mags.  Today, we finally have Mom's birdie pix from our outing on Saturday.  Are you ready to head down to Quivira National Wildlife Refuge?  Let's cut with the chit-chat and go!

Me and Cam at Quivira, checking out the scene!

OK, I wasn't really looking for birdies, I was quite possibly looking for something to snarf. That didn't really pay off.  We did see tons of birdies, though!

One of the most abundant kinds of birds we saw were Blackbirds!

Red-Winged Blackbird
Yellow-Headed Blackbird, trying to hide from Mom

There were quite a few species of ducks there, to include Mom's favorite - the Northern Shoveler.  Here's one hanging out with some friends:

Left to right, female and male Blue-Winged Teal and a male Northern Shoveler

I'm fairly certain the female Blue-Winged Teal was practicing her aircraft carrier landings!

Here's a very small duck:

Male Ruddy Duck

We also saw lots of Egrets!  On the way down, Mom saw some Cattle Egrets in a field with some cattle!  For some reason, she didn't get any photos.  Something about Dad not thinking it's real safe to pull over when he's doing 75mph down the highway.  Whatever.  At Quivira, we saw a few Snowy Egrets and plenty of Great Egrets:

Great Egret in flight

Aren't his wings beautiful?  Let's have a good look at those babies:

Great Egret - wingspan of 51 inches!

With an even larger wingspan of 72 inches, we give you the Great Blue Heron:

Great Blue Heron doing some fishing

We also saw another kind of heron!

Immature Black-Crowned Night Heron

I'm not sure why Mom said he was immature -- maybe he was cracking goofy jokes or something.  Ha roo roo r---yeah, OK, back to the birds!

In the smaller birdies arena we have ...

Eastern Meadowlark

... and ...

Eastern Kingbird

Back to larger birds ... Mom is always thrilled to see these guys:

White-Faced Ibis, with a Lesser Yellowlegs photo-bombing (at right)

Mom didn't even see the Yellowlegs at first.  Some of these birdies have amazing camouflage!

We also saw Kansas' largest bird:

American White Pelican

They have a wingspan of 108 inches!  Wowzers!

We appreciate your kind comments on the video we shared yesterday of the Phalarope and Stilt -- and thought you might like to see some still shots today!

Wilson's Phalarope

Unlike most other birds, the female Wilson's Phalarope (above) is the more colorful of the species!  Here are a male and female together:

Male and female Wilson's Phalaropes

If you notice all the tiny, black specks in the two photos above - those are mosquitoes.  About 87 billion of them.  The rest of the 10 billion that were there were biting Mom, if she's to be believed.  (Side note - in a pinch, hand sanitizer is great for itchy bug bites!)

And here is a shot of one of the Stilts:

Black-Necked Stilt

Aren't his crazy-red legs cool? They have the second-longest legs in proportion to their bodies of any bird; flamingos are number one.

Our last shot for you is of a bird that is a "lifer" (first time ever seeing one) for Mom:

American Bittern!

They are a member of the heron family and are very elusive -- see how well-camouflaged he is in the grasses?!?  Mom almost missed him!

We hope you enjoyed our birdie pictures!  If you'd like to see more photos from this most recent trip, please click here to visit our FlickR album (it's a 2-pager).  Thanks for going birdie watching with us!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher


  1. Awesome!! We never saw a yellow headed blackbird
    Lily & Edward

  2. What gorgeous photos! We love the Egret with his beautifully spread wings!

  3. Wow.............what stunning pictures and absolutely perfectly captured moments on each bird. The egrets are so graceful.
    Dad was right no need to try to stop when the Sibe mobile is on a mission
    Hugs madi your bfff

  4. Oh my goodness girls - what fantastic photos. I'll bet you've seen nearly every bird there is in the whole wide world !

    Inca xx

  5. What a great adventure...with so many beautimous birds!!! There are tales of Bitterns living in the marsh near us, but Mama has yet to see one!
    Arty, Jakey & Bilbo

  6. That's a LOT of birds! Your momma's lucky she had you grrls to point them out for her.

  7. your mom takes such great pictures....it is nice to see wildlife doing so well.

  8. Maggie and Cammie we know how grueling PT can be...you tell your mom we are very proud of the progress she has made thus far.
    Hugs Madi and Mom

  9. What amazing birdies, such wonderful colours and stunning markings….how does you Mom take such clear photos and mine does a good line in blur?
    You must have had great funs with such a variety of pretty birdies
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  10. That egret is very impressive. And maybe that pelican with the huge wingspan needs to try out for the Jayhawks or Wildcats basketball team:)

    Thanks for the tip about the hand sanitizer - the oak mites are driving mom nuts when we walk at night.

    Woos - Lightning and Misty

  11. We love seeing all your birdie pictures. Some of those birds aren't seen around here.

  12. Anonymous8:18 PM

    Awesome! I'm impressed that you didn't try to play tag with them.
    I think I would have but that might not have been a good thing. ~ nose nudges Bess

  13. OMD!!!!! OMD!!!! Those photos are PAWSOME!!!! Ma was all ooooooo and awwwwwwwe and she especially loved the last one!!! She has never seen a Bittern befores! What beautiful feathers!!!
    Ruby ♥
    pees: sorry you didn't gets to snarf nothin'....maybe next time! ☺

  14. the flying pelican was awesome!!!!
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  15. Maggie, your mom is an incredibly talented photographer! We love the Wilson's Phalarope.
    Hugs and Love
    Addie, Lucie and Hailey