Lingering Waterfowl

There’s hardly any water birds on Lake Meredith now and there aren’t any playas with water in them that I know of in the northern Texas panhandle (edit: just read on eBird of one north of St. Francis, east of Hwy136 that I’ll try to visit next week when I’m off.)  Strangely, the waterfowl that are listed as summer residents in the bird guides are pretty scarce; I’ve not seen any Redheads, Northern Shovelers or Northern Pintails, no Pied-billed Grebes or Gadwalls in about a month.  I have seen a single American Wigeon and she was a beauty.american-wigeon-1024x682

I also saw a couple of Blue-winged Teals earlier this month.blue-winged-teal-30-1024x669

What I have seen are waterfowl that should have headed north by now or are just passing through as the migrate to their breeding grounds.

This Ruddy Duck has been on the first pond at Spring Canyon for a month now, occasionally joined by a couple of females.

 

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Here’s one of the femalesruddy-duck-11-1024x627

 

These Eared Grebes arrived along with a half-dozen others 2 or 3 weeks ago.  The others went on but these two stayed to keep the Ruddy Duck company.

 

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I hadn’t seen any American White Pelicans for several weeks until this one showed up a few days ago.  american-white-pelican-19-1024x627

There was another pair at Palo Duro Lake last week along with several dozen Double Crested Cormorants that seem to stay there all summer, or at least they did last summer.american-white-pelican-11-1024x648

Forster’s Terns migrated through earlier in the month.

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Ring-billed Gulls should all be gone by now, (remember the thousands that were on Meredith all winter?) but 5 of them came through last week, first I’d seen in a month.ring-billed-gull-13-1024x637

A Ring-necked Duck showed up last Monday and I’ve seen her there 3 other times, including today.ring-necked-duck-16-1024x765

She seems to be keeping the Ruddy Duck company along with the Eared Grebes.ring-necked-duck-eared-grebe-1024x676

This morning on the main pond at Spring Canyon there was what I think is a Red-breasted Merganser female, although chances are really better that it is a Common Merganser.  Common Mergansers were winter residents at Lake Meredith, but there were a couple of confirmed sightings of the Red-breasted last fall.  I’ll probably hear from the local eBird rep soon.  I’ll let you know.  (edit:  eBird has confirmed this as a Red-breasted Merganser, a new bird for me.)

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Sorry that it’s been so long since the last post,  I’ve been birding a lot (3-5 mornings a week) but I just haven’t been motivated to go to all the work of editing and uploading to get the pictures posted.  I’ve gotten caught up with the editing and uploading today, though, and will get several posts up in the next day or two.

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