American Avocets

So wonderful to see this group of American Avocets at the wetlands this morning! They are a bit hard to see, but there are also some Wilson’s Phalarope in the mix. It was a cold, wet, windy morning, so the pelicans were hanging out pretty close together. I also saw my first sora of the season. I have been hearing them, but this was the first good look. Click on pictures to enlarge.

American avocet

© Chris Taylor

American white pelicans

Sora

© Chris Taylor

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Meanwhile, at the Wetlands

I did not get to the Wakarusa Wetlands much over the summer, but now that we are heading into fall, I plan to do something about that whenever I can. I took a couple of hours off yesterday to see if what I had been hearing about great numbers of pelicans was true. While a road grater scared many of them away right after I got there, a few remained. It is great to see them in this relatively new space (part of the mitigation for the SLT). While I in no way can speak to the anger and betrayal felt by so many regarding this sacred space, I am choosing to focus on making peace with my relationship with this place that has meant so much to me. I hope it will continue to be a place of relative safety for the beings who live there, and I hope that migrants continue to find it a restful and nourishing spot in the fall and spring.  It was wonderful to see thousands of gulls coming through high overhead and the blackbirds were dining on sunflower seeds. A few cormorants were hanging out in a tree, kingfishers patrolled, and grebes dived. Click on pictures to enlarge.

Sunrise Wetlands

© Chris Taylor

Red-winged blackbirds on sunflower

© Chris Taylor

Red-winged blackbirds in flight

© Chris Taylor

Cormorants

© Chris Taylor

American coot and grebe

© Chris Taylor

Belted kingfisher

© Chris Taylor

Pelicans in a line

© Chris Taylor

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Wintering pelicans

Every winter, as long as there is open water, there are a few pelicans who stay around. I don’t know how they do it. I am not sure how they managed the polar vortex. I am in awe of their pelicanness. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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Eagles, egrets, pelicans, and more

It was a lovely morning at the lake. Many migrants are still coming through. There are still thousands of gulls. I imagine the egrets are getting ready to leave to for the season. Everywhere we went there were pelicans. The young bald eagle was a nice surprise. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© 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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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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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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Between storms

It was a great morning to be out. I was able to spend some time at both the Wakarusa Wetlands and Clinton Lake before getting rained out. 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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Lone pelican

There has been a lone pelican hanging out at the Wakarusa Wetlands recently. I hope he is okay. I’m guessing he is a young one who was blown off course during one of the many recent storms and is resting here for a while. I wish him the best on the rest of his journey. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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