Bird song

Another bit of spring that sends my heart soaring is the return of the song birds. This little guy had a lot to sing about.

I haven’t been able to identify him. Any suggestions?

Eagle calling

I’ve lived here six years and have yet to be indifferent to the sight of an eagle. They’ve been more visible lately. And this one also had something to say. It was doing a lot of calling.

Eagle landing

As the eagle in the shot above took off from its perch this one landed in a nearby tree.

Ducks

I went to Carrie Blake Park recently to see what kinds of ducks I might find there. A previous visit yielded only mallards. This time I was pleased to find wigeons – lots of them. Most of them were American Wigeons. These are the ones with the greenish heads (males) and brown and grey mottling (females). But there were a few Eurasian Wigeons mingling with the group. You can see a male with the ginger colored head.

According to my bird book, “More Eurasian Wigeons overwinter in Washington than anywhere else in the other lower 48 states.” And apparently they tend to hang out with other Wigeons.

Many ducks

There generally are lots of ducks at Carrie Blake Park this time of year. Wigeons make a sort of whistling sound. The air was full of whistles at the park.

Mystery bird 2

The other day I noticed some unfamiliar big birds feeding at the very back of our property. They were bigger than pheasants, big and round, and didn’t look like they were designed to fly. The little flock of seven was skittish, running this way and that, working their way closer and closer to our house. I grabbed my camera.

Mystery bird 1

I consulted three different bird books. Though they were roughly the size of grouse nothing about them matched.

If you haven’t guessed already, they are guinea fowl, domestic birds. And we learned that it’s not uncommon for people around here to buy them as cute little chicks and then eventually tire of them and release them in the recreation area not far from our house. Though this practice may be relatively common we haven’t seen these birds before. Not surprisingly the local coyotes find them easy pickings.

Trumpeter swans

I saw a tiny flock of very big white birds in flight the other day. There weren’t many but I found a group of trumpeter swans feeding on field stubble a few days later. The numbers here are minuscule compared to the flocks that stop in Washington’s Skagit Valley on their winter migration. But that doesn’t mean I can’t get excited.

Field and swans

They do a good job of keeping out of camera range. But in my opinion they do choose rather pretty surroundings.

January eagles 3

I was tickled to discover a new-to-me eagle’s nest near the Railroad Bridge. It’s conveniently located with a prime river view.

January eagles 2

I waited a long time to see if either eagle went out for a snack but they settled in…though they kept an eye out for opportunities.