Tag Archives: mallard

Winter Birding

Winter is a great time for birding – especially if you live in a migratory pathway.

Ring-necked ducks
Scaups

We get to see different birds in the winter than in the summer months.  The scaups aren’t too common this far up the Alsea River.  I’m not sure if these are the Greater or Lesser Scaups.

Male Common Merganser
Male Common Merganser

Common Mergansers aren’t as common as their name implies; at least on our section of the river.  I love the stark, contrasting, colors on the male mergansers.

Heron and Hoodies
Heron and Hoodies share a fishing spot

A Great Blue Heron was fishing out in front this morning.  His Hooded Merganser friends did a drive-by to check out why he was there.

I snapped a couple photos through the window; knowing that the heron would quickly leave when I opened the window or door for a better shot.

mallard ducks
Mallards – Bottoms Up!

By the liiiiiiiiight of the silvery mooooooooon….

I hear that song in my head every time I see the mallards feeding 🙂

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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!

Evening Grosbeak and Mallard with Ducklings

Here’s a better photo of the Evening Grosbeak.  I love the vibrant colors.

Evening Grosbeak
Evening Grosbeak

We saw this Mallard hen with her 3 little ducklings a couple times yesterday.

Mallard Hen with 3 Ducklings
Mallard Hen with 3 Ducklings

I hope she isn’t the same one that I saw on the 15th when she had 9 babies with her!

Beavers are Back!

I used a proven wildlife viewing technique as I looked over the Alsea River this morning:  If something looks out-of-place, look closer.

Beaver Chewing
Beaver Chewing

Down-river, under dark cover, I could see something white bobbing in the water near the shore.  But it wasn’t bobbing at a rate that was consistent with the movement of the river.  So I zoomed in and caught the beaver munching!

Beaver Swimming
Tell-Tail Sign

Without anything to compare his size to, I can’t always tell if it’s a beaver or a nutria.  But I can see the outline of his tail so it is for sure a beaver!

Beaver Swimming
Bye-bye Beaver

I sure hope they bring their kits out to show me sometime!

Mallard and Beaver
Mallard keeps his distance from the Beav’

The duck was something else that looked out-of-place before it moved to this spot.  He was sitting between 2 rocks and his dark head just looked like a stick in an odd place in the river.  The next time I looked in that direction, this stick had legs.

This is for the birds!

The duck-alert yesterday morning had me looking for baby birds all day long.  I warned Don that we’d have to check the Newport South Jetty before we left.  But we only saw a few loons and cormorants; no babies.

Geese in Tall Grass
Peek-a-boo

On our way to Newport I swear I saw, not a puddy-tat, but some baby geese.  They were standing next to their parents on the sand at low tide at Eckman Lake (on the bay side).  We didn’t have time to stop at that time so we stopped on our way back up the Alsea River.  There were only a few geese and they were all in the tall grass.  Chicks could hide in here very easily.

Great Blue Heron and Mallard Drake
Great Blue Heron and Mallard Drake

I’d love to see a baby heron.  Don’t they nest way up high though?  I wish I knew where they nested around Waldport.

Rufous Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird

I bet the hummers have a nest close by.  They were chasing each other like crazy yesterday.  I was afraid I’d get poked as they zoomed their way through our observation deck.

At one point, I’m sure, they went in one ear and out the other!

Rufous Hummingbird
Now he’s just showing off

It’s pretty hard to keep track of who’s who but I know their colors change depending on the your perspective of their chin.  This may be the same one as in the previous photo.

Osprey Fishing
Osprey Fishing

Then this osprey landed in the tree in front of me!  Panic ensued as the red low-battery warning light on my camera began to flash.  He flew to another tree before he saw something worth diving for; giving me a chance to grab a fresh battery (which didn’t turn out to be fresh – argh!).  But I did get a couple shots.

Osprey Flying with Fish
Flying with his catch

Eventually, I will catch him in the act.  He makes such a big splash when he hits that I am just watching in amazement and can’t seem to focus (literally) on taking a photo.

Osprey eating fish
Dinnertime

And I’ll figure out how to focus on him when he’s hiding behind branches as he picks apart his fish.

TEMPtations

We’ve had TEMPs in the 80’s this weekend!  That’s very unusual for the Oregon coast in May.  Right on the beach it’s been upper 70’s but 10 miles inland it’s upper 80’s

I haven’t been barefoot since January in Texas but the next thing I’m doing is digging out my capris!  That water looks tempting…

Barefoot Days on the Alsea River
Barefoot Days on the Alsea River

Didn’t I just say I hadn’t seen any elk in a couple weeks?  These must be the bulls and yearling cows who aren’t pregnant.  Not sure what the shrub is with the yellow flowers but they can’t seem to pass one without a nibble.  They are also shedding their winter coats so they look a little shaggy…or shabby.

Elk Browsing on Shrubs
Elk Browsing on Shrubs

And the last time I did see them, they had just shed their antlers.  Now, zoom in on the photo below and you can see their antlers are growing back; the first and third from the left.

New Antler Growth on Elk
New Antler Growth on Elk

Flickers are gorgeous birds but they are really annoying when drilling on the edge of the roof.

Flicker
Flicker

Okay, it’s time for a chipmunk rodeo.  Put out the empty peanut butter jar.  They can’t pass up the smell.

Peanut Butter Acrobatics
Peanut Butter Acrobatics

I think it’s time for a dip!

Mallard Couple
Mallard Couple