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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Serene Scenery Sunday

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie, here with Serene Scenery Sunday.  Last weekend, Mom, Dad, Cam, and I ventured down to Quivira National Wildlife Refuge once again.  I thought I'd share the highlights with you.  Ready to look at birdies?

Here's Mom's favorite - posing for the camera:

Snowy Plover, rocking the head-tilt!

We saw lots of birds wading around, hunting for bugs -- like this guy:

American Avocet

Here's one of his relatives holding court with some Wilson's Phalaropes:

"OK, listen up, everyone!  The reason I called you all together ..."

I'm not sure what his meeting was about, but except for the Phalarope on the left, they looked mighty interested in what he was saying!

Here's another Phalarope hanging out with a Sandpiper:

Least Sandpiper and Wilson's Phalarope

For those who may be wondering, I'm not sure if the Wilson in Wilson's Phalarope are related to the tennis ball guys.

We saw a few herons, like this one:

Great Blue Heron

But mostly, it was the Day of the Black-Necked Stilt.  Here's a trio:

Black-Necked Stilts

They look very serene and calm, but many of them were super agitated like this one:

Black-Necked Stilt upset about something

We learned that during breeding season, they are strongly territorial birds.  So I guess what we saw was a bunch of mini turf wars.

This guy seemed much more laid back:

Serene Black-Necked Stilt

Much more in line with our tranquil theme!

Mom got fairly close to one of the many Egrets that we saw:

Great Egret

She was mighty happy about that.

And just when she was about to say how she sees a lot of Eastern Kingbirds at Quivira but not Westerns, she spotted this bird:

Western Kingbird

She should say things like that more often; maybe we'd see even more birdies!

We've shown you Ruddy Ducks before, but never with their signature blue bill!  Check him out!

Male Ruddy Duck 

Isn't that cool?  They only get the bright blue bills during the Summer months - and then only the males get it!

Toward the end of our trip, we saw one of Mom's (and Cammie's) favorite birds.  They are in the same family as Snowy Plovers.  A couple weeks ago, we showed you a Snowy doing some nest-guarding behavior.  Well, these guys are ACES at it!  Without further ado ... I give you, ladies and gentlemen, the Killdeer!

"Ow!  Oh, I broke a wing! Ow! Look at me, the helpless one. Pay no attention to my nest!"

They are extremely good actors - it was a very convincing display!  They go the extra mile to distract potential predators away from their nests or babies.  Mom (and Cam) find that behavior quite admirable!

To see more photos of this Academy Award-worthy performance and more birdies, please visit our FlickR album from last weekend at this link; we've also included a short film on Avocets and Stilts!  (Two page album.)

To end this post on a totally serene note, here's a picture of me in the front garden:

"You do have treats, right?  Ah, yes.  Yes, you do!"

It has nothing to do with our trip or birdies, but I was feeling the serenity.  Stay cool, everybody. And keep it serene.

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher


  1. Such beautiful birdies! But my very favorite picture has to be the last one!

  2. Your birdies always help us feel serene!!
    Arty & Jakey

  3. Those are some most excellent photos! Our mom says your mom takes the most perfectly and crisply focused photos!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  4. Anonymous7:23 PM

    Hi Maggie, Tell mom the pictures of the birds were fun to look at. We have Killdeer here too, they are one of my favorite birds.
    I also enjoyed seeing the serene picture of you. ~ cuddles Margret

  5. We love seeing all your birdies. Our pawrents say they've seen a similar Academy Award worthy performance from a Killdeer before too.

  6. These birdies are beautiful! They were listening to their meeting lol. They seem to be great actors!

  7. Sure some pretty birds and lot of those you post we don't have in Northern Idaho.
    First time here I believe. I stop in from H and Z if you have the time stop in for a cup of coffee.

  8. What beautiful pictures of the birds! We love those water birds, the look so elegant!

  9. Seeing all those beautiful birdies made you look extra serene Maggie... and the treats too !

    Inca xx

  10. What a grreat actress! That birdie looked really hurt.