Tag Archives: ducks

#snowonthealsea

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.

alsea river snow
Alsea River at head of tidewater

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.

driftboat in snow
timeout for snow

Some don’t mind travelling on snow days but the duck route isn’t any different than any other day on the river.

ring-necked ducks, alsea river
Ring-necked ducks

Most of the snow fell before the tide started going out this morning.

snow level meets tide level
Snow level meets tide level on the Alsea

Salmonberries first gathered weeds from the high river last month and now snow.

salmonberries gathering snow
Salmonberries gathering snow on the Alsea

 

Diving Duck?

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.

Mallard Hen Diving – Video

mallard hen?
Mallard Hen?

And I love the colors on the Wood ducks!

Wood Duck Couple
Wood Duck Couple

Oregon Coast Wildlife

The Waldport Osprey chicks are growing fast.

osprey feeding chicks
Osprey brings home the bacon

These young male Mallards will be in full color before you know it.

Young male mallards getting their colors
Young male mallards getting their colors

Pileated Woodpecker finds some grub in the dead tree.

Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker

I spotted the first elk calf of the season!!

elk calf
First elk calf of the season!

I love seeing the ducks with so many chicks.  I can’t imagine how the mom keeps up with them all.

Mallard hen with 11 chicks
Mallard hen with 11 chicks

Can you tell what kind of critter tracks these are in the next photo?

critter tracks
Critter tracks: otters and what else?

There were just otter tracks when I first looked.  But then I caught a second culprit.

beaver
Beaver going to get him a blackberry vine

I didn’t know beavers ate blackberry vines but that’s what it went up to get.  It brought it back down to the water’s edge to eat it.  Watch 2 beavers in this video:

[youtube https://youtu.be/i22D5cZIj2E]

The kingfisher kids are learning how to fish.  Mom and Dad still bring them food though – so they can keep up their strength until they get better at it.

3 kingfishers
3 Kingfisher chicks waiting for breakfast

March of the solar lights

It really is useless to keep the solar lights out over the winter in Oregon.  Or maybe it’s just that we live in a valley where the sun rises in the south and sets in the south and there are mountains to our south!?  I know the days are getting longer when the solar lights come out of their winter hiding place and line up to soak up the sun.  Only the darkness will reveal which ones are worth keeping.

solar lights
Solar lights getting ready for daylight savings time

I love how the sun can spotlight a tree!

glowing tree
The late afternoon sun spotlights a tree

We are really lacking rain here in the northwest though.  It makes me worry about what summer will be like.  Hopefully we’ll get enough spring rain to fill up the aquifers.

alsea river
Crystal clear Alsea River

The steelhead and smolts are in the river and therefore the ducks are plentiful.  We even saw an eagle take a swipe at some ducks.

common mergansers on log
Common Mergansers
mallard ducks
Mallards display their spring colors

And more hummers are coming to the feeder.

Rufous Hummingbird at feeder
Rufous Hummingbird at feeder

Don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead an hour to take full advantage of the vitamin D opportunities!  Daylight Savings Time starts Sunday morning – don’t be late for church!

Greater Scaups Brave the Alsea

Recent rains raised the Alsea River to 14 feet.  Flood stage here is 18ft.  The clear water gave way to muddy runoff.  Still these brave Greater Scaups came fishing.  A bird’s gotta eat!

scaups fish alsea river banks
Scaups fish the banks

Here’s a look upriver just west of Blackberry Campground this morning.  The rain stopped, dropping the river level 2.5 feet by tonight.

alsea river - 14 ft
Swollen Alsea River – 14 feet

The Greater Scaups fished all day.  How do they see anything in that mud?  It must have something to do with those golden eyes – gives them a sunny outlook!

greater scaups
Greater Scaups