Tag Archives: eckman lake

Goose Herding for Mother’s Day

These Canada Geese parents make herding a gaggle of goslings look pretty easy!

canada geese with 7 chicks
7 goslings stick close

The chicks really blend into the grass so I had to wait until they took to the water to get a good pic.  This couple has 7!  I combined the rest of the pix into a YouTube slideshow below.  One or both the parents swam with their head down.  It looked like they were protecting the chicks from the other geese but I’m not sure.  I read that several couples gather together after the chicks hatch.  This is called a creche.  I wonder if geese in one creche protect the chicks from geese in another creche?

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

Happy Mother’s Day!

Nesting Canada Geese

The Canada Geese are back on the Central Oregon Coast!

Canada Geese on Alsea River at Eckman Lake
Marsh on Alsea River at Eckman Lake

We like watching them gather in the marshy grass flats on the river side of Eckman Lake near Waldport.

Canada Geese in tall grass
Tall grass is good for nesting

There’s lots of food and easy access to slow-moving water; good for teaching the kiddos to swim.  And the grass is tall enough to hide the nest.

Canada Geese in tall grass
Peek-a-boo or Whack-a-goose

In fact, its tall enough to hide Mom and Dad in.  Who knows how many geese are in there!

New fishing pier at Nelson State Park

Look how pretty!

Nelson State Park - new dock
Nelson State Park – new dock

They put in a new fishing pier/dock last week at Nelson State Park.  It’s gorgeous…and big!

Nelson State Park is the little wayside at Eckman Lake near Waldport on the Alsea River.  It’s one of the places they have the free fishing day for kids in early June.


Community is for the birds

My first thought about “community” was church because wherever we travel to workamp, we feel so at home when we attend church.

Ordinances are the same, lessons are the same, the spirit is the same.  But I don’t have a current photo and it’s a “photo challenge”.   Soooo….

These ducks live in a community on Eckman Lake, near Waldport, Oregon.

Ring-necked Ducks, Coots
Ring-necked Ducks, Coots

There were at least 4 or 5 different kinds of ducks that we could identify on this icy day.

Hundreds feeding keep the ice open
Hundreds feeding keep the ice open

By working together, they keep the ice from freezing over the whole lake.

American Wigeon, Gadwalls
American Wigeon, Gadwalls

There were smaller groups in different places and they’d fly or walk from one place to another.  It reminded me of going to Crystal Hot Springs, Utah, in the winter 🙂  We’d walk quickly from the dressing room to the hot pool.

Wood Duck
Wood Duck on the fringe

This duck seemed to be a loner.  But then suddenly he joined the group.  He decided to go see what all the fuss was about.

Northern Pintail on Eckman Lake, Waldport, Oregon

Eckman Lake is full of birds!

Mallards, Gadwalls, American Wigeon, Bufflehead
Mallards, Gadwalls, American Wigeon, Bufflehead

…top feeders and diving ducks

Ring-necked Duck in the middle
Ring-necked Duck in the middle

The ring-necked duck has a white ring around his bill, not his neck.

Common Merganser - black head, white body
Common Merganser – black head, white body

The common merganser is the big one in the foreground.

Northern Pintail - youth and adult
Northern Pintail – youth and adult

And a new bird (for me)…the Northern Pintail!  They’re Purdy!

Flaps Up for Father’s Day

Most of the goslings, at Eckman Lake\AlseaBay, look all grown up!

Geese almost grown up
Almost Grown

Well, they’ve got all their adult feathers in anyway.  If the adults weren’t there, to compare their size to, I wouldn’t know the difference. (kinda like teenaged humans)

There is a younger family on the edge of the grass.  These goslings are solid grey.  There’s one adult and 3 or 4 young’uns.

Geese in Tall Grass

Mom and Dad Canada Geese raise their young together.  Parents seem to live in a community too.  Before the kids can fly, the parents take them out to eat when it is safe.  Then they hide them in the tall grass to rest.  I think the taller one is the male.  Read more here: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Canada_Goose/lifehistory

Adult goose shows how to flap wings
Daddy Goose Shows the Way

They are still too young to fly but they need to start exercising those wings so Dad shows them how.

There’s that domestic goose still hanging around.  I wonder if these Canada Geese will stick around or if we’ll see a lonely, forlorn, goose one day?

goslings flap wings to strengthen
Exercise those wings

The young ones take turns stretching and flapping their wings.  They probably don’t even know why yet.

I don’t see the collared goose so I’m not sure when these hatched.  But I’m guessing it takes a gosling about 3 weeks to go from all grey to full colors?

They grow up SO fast!


Imaginary Goslings

Don was starting to accuse me of seeing imaginary baby geese at Eckman Lake (on Alsea Bay).

Collared Canada Goose
Collared Canada Goose

So I thought it was really sweet of them to hang around so we could photo them today!

And LOOK at the collar on the one out in front!  I’ll have to see if I can find out about that.

canada geese chicks
I AM the boss of you ’cause I’m your step-grandmother!

I’ve seen this domestic goose amongst the Canada Geese before.  It is too big and doesn’t have the right plumage to be a White-fronted Goose.

Update from US Fish & Wildlife:

I got the scoop on the collared goose.  Although the top of the collar is missing, it is believed to be 244R.  They will still try to confirm the ‘R’ if it is not entirely torn off.

She is a long-time resident of Waldport.  She is 19 years old now and was collared as a gosling at Eckman Lake in 1994.  She was also photographed on the Chinook Winds Golf Course in 2011.  Other reported sightings are right in the Eckman Lake area in 1995, 1996, 2004 and 2007.  So she’s kind of a home-body.

Thanks to my friend Shawn Stephensen, Refuge Wildlife Biologist\US F&W, for researching her for me!  (and for identifying the domestic goose)