I love mornings like this. Click on pictures to enlarge.
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!
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.
Loved checking out this huge great blue heron rookery the other day! As we were watching, I noticed that we were really only getting a partial view. There are many more nests in the trees behind. Click on pictures to enlarge.
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.
There were numerous pelicans on the water and turkeys foraging the fields.
A heron rookery we visited last year was very active. It looks like some of the herons might already be incubating eggs.
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.
We saw snow geese and Ross’s geese.
An beautiful group of deer posed for a shot before taking off for the woods.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
This area is usually completely covered by water.