I’m finally starting to see some waterfowl around Lake Meredith. Unfortunately, since the lake is up 20 feet from last year this time, it is nearly impossible to get good shots of them. The current water level puts the south end of the lake (where most water birds like to stay because of the shallows and weeds make good places to feed, I guess) between Fritch Fortress and Harbor Bay and there is no good access. Maybe I should get a canoe or kayak. I can see dabblers and divers and waders through my scope but cannot make out the species. There are exceptions of course, American White Pelicans, Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Double-crested Cormorants, Ring-billed Gulls, and American Avocets are pretty easy to spot, but the others are just guesses. I did see my first Pied-billed Grebe of the season at Spring Canyon yesterday.
I went to Palo Duro Lake north of Spearman this morning in hopes of getting some decent photos of water birds and had a really good morning. I saw 29 species of birds in a little ofver two hours and got a few nice photos, although nothing outstanding. These are American Coots. There was several hundred of them out there this morning. The lighter birds in the foreground are Green-winged Teal.
More American Coots and Teal (Blue-winged and Green-winged both, I think) plus a couple of Mallards and a few Wood duck
A Great Blue Heron.
More American Coots, Mallards, and Teal, plus a few female Wood Ducks. Look at the feet on the two coots on the beach. They are huge. They’re not webbed either, they are lobed, which helps them wade and swim, both.
Northern Shovelers and an American Coot.
Yellow-headed blackbird in with a male and several female Red-winged Blackbirds. The red-wings are year round, but the Yellow-headed Blackbirds are just passing through.
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s,) another bird passing through. I saw sseveral last spring, but this is the first one since.
A complete list of this mornings outing
American White Pelican
Great Blue Heron
Swainson’s Hawk (kind of a surprise, first one I’ve seen in several weeks. I thought they had all gone south already)
Northern Flicker (red-shafted)