Saturday, June 10, 2017

On The Hunt, Part II

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie, here with the second part of our hunt for the Reddish Egret.  You know, this guy:

IMG_4463ReddishEgret
"Hello."

Yeah. So ... as Cam told you yesterday, we had a very successful birding spree at Quivira NWR, so we decided to venture into Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area a bit, too. The very first bird we spotted was a "lifer" for Mom - a bird she's never seen in person before!

IMG_4816CliffSwallow
Cliff Swallow!

The best way to ID him from other Swallows is the blunt tail and the orange-y rump.  Mom was thrilled to get some shots of them!

We saw another type of Swallow we often see at the house:

IMG_4288BarnSwallowSX60
Barn Swallow

We don't often see them actually holding still like that!  They like to swoop around the fields catching bugs.

At Cheyenne Bottoms, there is an observation tower Mom likes to climb up.  It sits about a story and a half above the wetlands, and you can spot all kinds of cool stuff up there.  So I'm told.  I've never been allowed to go up there for some reason.  Anyway, Mom was about halfway up the steep set of stairs when she caught movement out of the side of her eye.  She turned (slowly and very carefully, we're told) just in time to see a birdie flying by!

IMG_4832BlackCrownedNightHeron
Black-Crowned Night Heron!

Mom was mighty excited - she doesn't see them very often!  Here's another look at him:

IMG_4836BlackCrownedNightHeron
Check out those cool red eyes!

They don't get the red eyes until they reach adulthood (about 3 years old); before that, they are sort of yellow/orange.  (You can see one of Mom's pix of a juvenile at this link.)  They are mostly nocturnal hunters, but sometimes feed in the daytime, too.  Seeing this guy was definitely worth the side-trip over to Cheyenne Bottoms!  Seeing him was a great "finish" to our trip, and we decided to head back home.

Here's a shot out of the window of the HR-V on the way:

IMG_0708CarWindowKansas
Ah, Kansas!

Mom loves that area!  Wide open prairies, rolling hills ... she can just picture the early settlers coming through!

She was also able to take a quick iPhone shot of one of our favorite signs!  Check it out:

IMG_0726HorseMotel
Horse Motel B&B

That's right - a Bed and Breakfast for you and your horse.  AND they sell "pretty good horses".  Isn't Kansas great?!?

Cam and I grabbed a quick meal when we got home, then we did this:

IMG_0738CamMagsRest
"I'm out!  Zzzz..."
"I can barely keep my peepers open!"

It was another great trip and a successful hunt for the Reddish Egret - but boy, is birding exhausting!  Thanks for coming along with us!  I think we've all earned a nice, long nap!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

PS:  If you'd like to see all of our photos from our most recent trip, please click here to see our album on FlickR.

10 comments:

  1. Your mom is such a great photographer; such incredible birds and I almost thought the first swallow was a pheasant. What a fun hobby. Kansas is beautiful and I'd love to go exploring there. When I see wide open spaces like that I feel drawn there; I think I've got a bit of a country girl inside me.
    Have a great weekend.
    Wags,
    Noreen, Hunter and Petrol(our daughter's dog)

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  2. yow! so many amazing photos! we liked the peepapalooza :D Kansas is a beautiful state. and how cool that there is even a B&B for horses :) thanks again for sharing your trip with us!

    pip, smidgen, minnie, hollie, sharpie, ditto, TL

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  3. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh my cats that first photo of the Black-Crowned Night Heron looks like a painting WOW you mom is a good photographer and has a very steady hand. Congrats on the Reddish Egret too!
    Does your mom have a birding book for these gorgeous photos?
    Hugs Madi your bfff

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  4. Do you think your mom might let you girls get a horse since they are already allowed at a B&B?

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  5. Your mom always gets the bestest birdie pictures! We think it's so funny to see the herons flying with their feets flying along behind them instead of being tucked up.

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  6. It is amazing to us that your mom knows all the names of these different birds!
    hugs
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

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  7. WOW...Aren't those red eyes on the Black Crowned Night Heron cool!!!
    What a great collection of birdies!!!

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  8. That cliff swallow has such interesting markings! Your mom is a bird---and husky---expert!

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  9. wooow! What a wonderful pictures! What camera are you using?

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    1. Hi Olka! I use a Canon 70D, with a Tamron 150-600mm lens. Thanks for visiting!
      KZK

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