Who We Are

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The R-E-S-T Rest! Of All The B-E-S-T Best!

Or is it the other way around?  Whatever ...

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie, here with ... yeah, OK.  We're wrapping up this latest trip down to Quivira NWR today.  (If you need to get caught up, please click here and here.)  On to the rest of the birdies!

One of the more common wading birdies we see down there is the Great Blue Heron. Here comes one now!

GBH in flight!

They are here year-round.  One of our migratory birds is the Wilson's Phalarope:

Wilson's Phalarope, looking for bugs

They spin around in circles, stirring up the bugs so they can eat them. Speaking of bug-eaters, it looks like this guy caught a tasty one!

American Avocet with the catch of the day

I don't want to say there's a double-standard around here, but if I had a bug like that, my mom would tell me to "leave it!"  Just ... putting that out there.

One of the rather striking-looking birds we saw was the Yellow-Headed Blackbird:

Yellow-Headed Blackbird

We saw a good number of them and the Red-Winged Blackbirds.  The Red-Wings are here all the time, but the Yellow-Headed Blackbirds pretty much come for the warmer months.

The ducks we saw in good number were Blue-Winged Teals.  Mom was watching this male and female, then saw this American Coot move into the scene:

"Is it just me, or is that Coot hitting on my wo-duck?"
"Hey, baby...."
"Hit the bricks, you old Coot."

Even though they like to hang out with ducks, Coots are not ducks -- they are more closely related to Sandhill Cranes or Rails.  (To have a good look at their feety-feet, click here to see a pic Mom took of one a few years ago.  Not webbed feet at all!)

There were quite a few Great Egrets at Quivira.  Here's one who's out standing in his field.  Or is that "outstanding"?  Ha roo roo roo.  With a Great Blue Heron.

The Greats hanging out together - Great Blue Heron and Great Egret.
The black thing in the middle of the shot is a Red-Winged Blackbird buzzing through.

There was some pretty crazy wind the day we were there, which though it made it challenging for Mom to hold the camera steady, it had two benefits -- one, it helped keep the mosquitoes at bay, and two, when the larger-winged birds took flight, they were buffeted around so much that they were almost held in place!  Here's one of Mom's favorite shots from that series:

Ballet recital by Great Egrets

They are one of our Summer residents, as are the Snowy Egrets.  Here are a couple of them in flight:

Snowy Egrets

Can you see their bright yellow feety-feet?  Pretty cool!  They are smaller than the Great Egrets - a wingspan of 41 inches as opposed to 51 - and have a black beak instead of yellow.

Speaking of beaks ... we also saw a pack-o-Pelicans:

American White Pelicans

I have no idea why that one guy is looking the wrong way, but Mom said something about him being a Siberian Pelican.  I didn't know there WAS such a ... oh.  Right.  Funny, Mom.

Here's a Cormorant, in mid take-off!

Double-Crested Cormorant

The Double-Crested are the most widespread Cormorant in North America.  They come through Kansas during migration seasons.

Our last bird is this little Sandpiper:

Spotted Sandpiper

Mom loves his speckled belly!  They are here mostly during migration, but some stay for the Summer!

We hope you enjoyed seeing some of our birdies and learning a little bit about them.  And now, it's time to head home.

"So tired ... so many birdies ... "
"Hey, Dad!  Let me know if you need me to drive!"

Thanks for coming along with us!  If you'd like to see more, please click here to check out our FlickR album.  We can't wait to go back again and see what new birdies we'll see!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher


  1. What wonderful photos of birds I haven't seen before. I would also agree that the snake is a Bull Snake-looks very similar to a rattler, but isn't poisonous-just a Constrictor.
    WE get them here a lot; hubby will rescue them and that them out to the prairie and release them. They will actually kill rattlers.
    Noreen and Hunter

  2. Yeah, we get that leave it command all the time - don't the Moms know that bugs are great protein for us??? Those egret shots are amazing, especially the first one. And about that heron - we hope that isn't the same one that is sneaking up on Princess Leah's koi pond!!!

    Woos - Misty and Lightning

  3. Maggie, your Mom has taken GORGEOUS photos. The first one of the Great Blue Heron literally made me catch my breath. When I look at it, I feel like I'm flying with him.

    Of course, you and Cammie are gorgeous too! You both look worn out in the back seat of the car.

  4. I tell you Cammie and Maggie your mom takes the best birdie photos E V E R! OMCs and the ones in flight are amazing.
    Wow and your dad is very good a Driving your mom to all the special places and you 2 are good at snoopervising.
    For sure a family affair!
    Hugs madi your bfff

  5. We just love coming along on your birding adventures, girls! Your mom takes the bestest pictures! The great egrets are just stunning!

  6. Wow! The yellow headed blackbird is so cool
    Lily & Edward

  7. Wow, these pics are so excellent, so sharp! Can't believe what great shots you got!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  8. We still can't believe your dad won't let you help drive. Such a generous offer too.

  9. You have incredible birds there. I love the GBH in flight. And the yellow-headed blackbird. Wow! Great photography. Learning to capture birds in flight is HARD! Thanks for sharing.

  10. We are always amazed to see how many cool birdies you all get to see!!
    Arty, Jakey & Bilbo

  11. Oh wow - I didn't realise there were so many birdies in the world, and now you've seen them all, you lucky girls.

    Inca xx

  12. More grreat pics! Thanks for sharing all the birdies.

  13. We had baby ducks swimming in our canal yesterday and we thought of you
    Mr Bailey, Hazel, & Mabel

  14. The Great Blue Heron pic is gorgeous! I feel like I'm right there with him. We are patiently waiting... for your photography book!
    Love and Hugs
    Addie, Lucie and Hailey