We’re enjoying a snowday from home today. Snow on the beach is such a rarity on the Oregon Coast and I got to kinda see it once…at midnight…from a distance…lit by my camera flash…see here: Snow on Tillicum Beach
Today I’m enjoying it from up the Alsea River.
We had plans for going to Newport to volunteer at the Family History Center and then do our weekly grocery shopping. But caution prevails today.
Some don’t mind travelling on snow days but the duck route isn’t any different than any other day on the river.
Most of the snow fell before the tide started going out this morning.
Salmonberries first gathered weeds from the high river last month and now snow.
At first I thought this was a mallard hen. But I’ve never seen a mallard dive underwater and swim. This one dove several times in the tidewater of the Alsea River. Watch the video and tell me if you think this is a mallard. A still photo of her is below the link to the video.
The Merganser chicks’ wings are developing. They aren’t big enough to fly yet but they can dive and they look like they are flying under water.
Mama Merganser is on the left in the next photo. Compare her wings, which include a white patch, to her chicks. They’ve had their nap and are now ready to get back to business.
Before this family landed on the rocks of the Alsea River, Mama Merganser was chasing something in the river. I couldn’t see what it was but 2 Mallards also came from across the river quacking at the same thing. Whatever it was never came back. The Mallards didn’t even have chicks with them. I thought it was cool that they joined forces with Mama Merganser.
With as many predators who love the tender merganser veal I’m always impressed by the number of chicks a mom is able to raise. This mom has eleven chicks and it is probably due to their strict obedience to her.
I saw 2 groups of Mallard ducks across the river. They stopped to look at something on the riverbank of the Alsea River. I saw a very small mink running along the bank so I started recording. Mama-Mallard kept her 5 babies safe again!
If you watch where the duck is looking you’ll see movement under the brush. That’s the mink. He dives in after them and Mama scatters her ducklings. This is a larger mink than I saw at first so I’m wondering about a mink family living nearby??? How cool is THAT!
I apologize for the lack of focus on some of these but they are timid little guys.
The cardinal is one of my favorite birds because of the male’s bright red color.
The Blue Jays in Texas look quite different from the Stellar Jays I’m use to west of the Rockies.
The squirrels don’t look any different from my point of view though.
This little Mockingbird might have left the nest too early.
It mostly hopped across the yard a few jumps then flapped his wings in that quivering kind of way that baby birds use.
When I saw the chicks coming out on the Martin house deck I knew the fledge was close. It was early morning and the windows were dripping with dew. I went out on the deck to take some photos and the camera lens kept fogging up. Combine that with the breeze blowing the branches in front of the bird house and it took a while before I could get a photo. These are not Martins. Maybe starlings?
We were gone for a couple days and didn’t see the chicks again. But something stinky must have happened inside.