Last Week of Winter

Spring’s equinox is near but everything is still very dry and brown.  Morning temps are hovering around the freezing mark and it’s still a month to our average last frost.  I’m seeing lots of migrating birds at Meredith.  Most notable are the American White Pelicans and Double-crested Cormorants, but there are still hundreds of Mallards and Northern Pintails and Ring-billed Gulls around also.  The Red-winged Blackbirds are starting to stake out territory in the reed beds around the lake and the waterfowl are decked out in breeding plumage.  I’ve been watching Buffleheads through a scope as they defend their harems from rival males-lots of head bobbing, wing flapping and chasing each other around.  I’ve been trying to get some good photos of the display, but so far no luck.

So anyway, here’s the birds.

American White Pelicans and Double-crested Cormorants fishing.  I saw the first of the pelicans about a month or so ago and the flock has been growing slowly ever since.

Today there were over sixty of the birds on the lake, mostly resting on sandbars.  There seems to be an link between the pelicans and the cormornats–they are nearly always together.  The pelican’s movements are so coordinated they could medal in synchronized swimming.

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A young Bald Eagle (third year, maybe) sitting on some tumbleweeds that have blown into the shallow end of Lake Meredith.

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Ring-necked Ducks.

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Northern Shoveler male.northern-shoveler-4-1024x689

Common Goldeneye female.goldeneye-3-1024x705

Greater Roadrunner.greater-roadrunner-119-1024x681

More photographs here.

2 thoughts on “Last Week of Winter

  1. Thanks Mia. The only thing anyone seems to get excited about around here is the Bald Eagles. I enjoy the eagles but I am so amazed at the variety of birds around here that I get excited about the smallest wren or sparrow I see. The Pelicans are one of my favorites, also. I love to watch them soar in formation, or sit on the sandbars and preen, but most impressive is the cooperation they show when fishing. I watched at least a hundred of them in several groups last fall and it looked like the were herding the fish into tight ball and then they would dip their heads under in unison and raise them back up, water streaming from their pouches. It was like a ballet.

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