Fall migration

Fall migration is wonderful! The cormorants were coming in all morning and there are thousands of gulls here. I watched hundreds of swallows swooping over the grass and water. I think they will be leaving soon. A very nice morning!

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

 

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Young ones at the Wakarusa Wetlands

I haven’t been to the Wakarusa Wetlands in about a month. At this time of year, that means a lot of change. I got out there a little late this morning to stay long (just too hot), but I did manage to see some young ones–a bunny, tree swallow, robin, and a yellow-crowned night heron! Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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Sometimes, cloudy days are the best

It was incredibly bleak and cloudy yesterday, but still a wonderful time for making a lap around the lake. Sometimes, these cloudy days when no one is around are the best.

First, we met some cedar waxwings chowing down on berries.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

There were numerous pelicans on the water and turkeys foraging the fields.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

A heron rookery we visited last year was very active. It looks like some of the herons might already be incubating eggs.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

We met an amazing Canada goose. He looks like he took a bath in white paint up to his neck. This is called “leucism,” It is not harmful, just reduced pigmentation.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

We saw snow geese and Ross’s geese.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

An beautiful group of deer posed for a shot before taking off for the woods.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

My favorite part of the day was watching a group of snow geese (Canada geese, blue geese, greater white-fronted geese, and Ross’s geese too!) taking off from a field. So beautiful!

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

The last stop was a bald eagles’ nest where some brooding is going on. We visited last week and both parents were feeding. The eaglets are too small to see from the road right now. Can’t wait to watch them growing up!

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

 

 

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Wetlands magic

Two young men out running at the Wakarusa Wetlands this morning stopped to talk to me as I stood staring up at a tree watching swallows. They seemed to be visiting for the first time. They wanted to know what kinds of wildlife I was seeing. I don’t think they were from around here because they asked me if there were any bears. I did tell them that the Wetlands are home to coyotes, bobcats, and supposedly a cougar, though I have never seen him/her.  One of them said, “Bobcats are sick!” They asked if I was a birdwatcher, which they thought was pretty cool.  They asked about where to run and said they thought they would do it again tomorrow. When I got back to the car, the windows were misted over (the humidity).  Written in the mist on the window was, “We saw an awesome bird!” I cannot quite put into words how great this made me feel.  It is truly a magical place.

 

© Chris Taylor

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Egrets and herons arrive in abundance

Yesterday, I had a wonderful morning walking the Wakarusa Wetlands and was happy to see an egret had arrived. I decided with all this beautiful weather, this week, I work nights. I went back this morning and as I was coming down the path, seven egrets and five great blue herons came sailing in. It was magical! I was also privileged to see a host of little blue herons, green herons, blue and green-winged teal, grebes, and even a white-faced ibis. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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Wakarusa Wetlands wood ducks and no water

When I visited last week, there was not a lot of water. I so hope that has changed a bit by now. I have my suspicions that water is being diverted from portions of the Wetlands targeted for destruction to build the SLT. I know it has been a dry, hot summer, but it has never looked like this. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

This area is usually completely covered by water.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

 

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More Wakarusa Wetlands magic

Little specks of yellow dot the fields and the green is lush and fragrant. Dragonflies are everywhere. Thousands of voices sing. On this morning, I spotted deer, a host of blackbirds, grackles, robins, sparrows, catbirds, indigo buntings, painted buntings, northern cardinals, goldfinches, a huge diversity of frogs, a dickcissel singing loudly, wood ducks, turtles (snappers and painted), geese, great egrets, great blue herons, cattle egrets, little blue herons, mink, muskrats, and the hundreds more. Please help save the Wetlands. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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