Almost as soon as we entered the refuge, we saw this tiny falcon perched in a tree:
They are small (about the size of a dove) but mighty!
We saw lots of hawks - mostly Red-Tailed as we drove down the highways - but also several of these hawks, hunting in the refuge:
It was a real duck-a-palooza day! We made a positive ID on ten different species of ducks! We saw Mom's very favorite:
|❤❤❤ THE Northern Shoveler!!! ❤❤❤|
Mom added the hearts. And the exclamation points. Sigh.
I thought these tiny guys were mighty cute:
As are these even smaller ones:
We also saw some Scaups:
|Female Lesser Scaup|
We saw males, too, but not as close up!
In the pond we showed you yesterday, there were lots of different ducks! Here's one look:
|Canvas-Back Duck (with reddish head), Buffleheads, and Ruddy Ducks|
The Ruddy Duck on the far right is going into breeding plumage - can you see his rust-colored body and the bright blue bill? Mom really likes Ruddies. Not as much as her Northern Shovelers, but they're right up there!
One big surprise was seeing these graceful birdies!
|Trumpeter Swans and lots of ducks|
We also saw lots of Cormorants:
On the Cormorant on the right, do you see his double crests sticking up? That's their version of breeding plumage! It's not always easy to see the crests, so Mom was pretty excited to get this shot!
At one point in the trip, Mom remarked that we hadn't seen any herons yet. A minute later, they spotted FIVE of them, hanging out together in the marsh!
|Great Blue Heron|
Mom being Mom, she tried saying that about other birdies, too, but that didn't quite pan out so well! It was worth a try, though!
That's it for this trip. I'm ready to stretch my legs, get some water, then head home; how about you?
|"Maybe some crackers, too..."|
"That was a LOT of birdies!!!"
If you would like to see the rest of our photos from this most recent trip, please click here to view our FlickR album.